Trump authorizes sanctions over election meddling

Trump authorizes sanctions over election meddling

According to reports, President Trump intends to sign an executive order later this week which will order sanctions on all foreign companies or individuals who are judged by the intelligence community to have interfered in the usa midterm elections.

"It is a further effort among several of those that the administration has made to protect the United States against foreign interference in our elections, and really our political process more broadly".

The order came weeks ahead of the USA midterm elections which will be held in November.

Trump's executive order declares that a "national emergency" exists linked to possible foreign interference in the U.S. elections, a declaration that creates a legal basis for the future imposition of sanctions linked to that issue.

"It has been a touchy subject", one White House official said last month, when the Post reported on a draft of the executive order.

"An executive order that inevitably leaves the president broad discretion to decide whether to impose tough sanctions against those who attack our democracy is insufficient", Democratic senator Mark Warner said Wednesday.

"There has been no evidence of a foreign power altering the outcome or vote tabulation in any USA election", Trump said in a statement, nevertheless adding that "We're going to take strong action to secure our election systems and the process".

FILE - U.S. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats speaks during a press briefing at the White House, Aug. 2, 2018. "It's more than Russian Federation here that we're looking at", he said.

Instead, the main action taken since then has been indictments issued by Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating possible collusion with Russian Federation.

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The president has drawn criticism for his response to Russian interference in the 2016 elections, particularly after he seemed to side with President Vladimir Putin during their Helsinki summit in July.

Bolton said Wednesday that the White House is open to ideas and proposals from lawmakers, but said new legislation might be slow in coming.

The sanctions would target not just foreign meddling in physical election infrastructure, but propaganda and other tactics, following efforts by a Kremlin-backed outfit use Facebook and other social media to try to create divisions and affect public opinion.

"We will combine that effort throughout the agency, and look to assess what has happened", he said adding that the executive order directs them to complete this in 40 days.

"We have seen signs of (meddling) not just Russian Federation, but from China. from Iran and even North Korea", he said. Coats also highlighted potential meddling from China, Iran and North Korea.

"I thought there was an opportunity there that I wish we would have taken advantage of", Rogers said at an event at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, on the relationship between the presidency and the intelligence community.

The president appeared to side with Mr. Putin and against USA intelligence agencies that said the Kremlin meddled in 2016 to sow division, hurt Democrat Hillary Clinton and help Mr. Trump.

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats told reporters on Wednesday that the U.S. is not now seeing a Russian interference campaign, but warned that "it's only a keyboard click away".

The order does not directly mention Russian Federation or its influence operations in the 2016 election, though it would effectively punish any culprits involved in USA intelligence community findings regarding the controversy.

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