Trump Signs Executive Order to Sanction Foreigners Who Interfere in U.S

Saul Bowman
September 13, 2018

But, unlike a bipartisan bill now making its way through Congress, the order does not require Trump to issue stiff sanctions on such meddlers. And evidence would not be forthcoming in the event that the White House considers sanctions under this order-the first word of any assessment would come with the sanctions themselves, Bolton told reporters. "The United States can and must do more", such as the mandatory sanctions attached to legislation they proposed, the senators wrote.

According to national security adviser John Bolton, the sanctions are aimed at targeting anyone who attacks the election infrastructure or distributes propaganda.

The move follows sustained criticism of the president for failing to take seriously threats to the U.S. electoral system from foreign actors.

The US President has also denied collusion on numerous occasions.

Mike Rogers, former director of the National Security Agency, said he thought Trump missed an opportunity in Helsinki to publicly scold Russian Federation for meddling.

Lawmakers said the executive order, which would give the president decision-making power on imposing sanctions, was insufficient.

"It is imperative that America remains united in punishing potential election meddlers and bad actors and that Republicans and Democrats work together to protect the integrity of our elections", he said.

The order represents an effort by the administration to look tough on election security before the voting in November, which will determine whether Trump's Republicans maintain their majorities in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate.

"The president has said repeatedly that he is determined that there not be foreign interference in our political process", Bolton said on a conference call. I think Department of Energy has made a clear statement of what his function there is, ' he said when asked by about the high-level visit, the first since Trump's Helsinki Summit.

The order would direct intelligence agencies to assess whether any people or entities interfered.

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said, "We have seen signsnot just Russian Federation, but from China, from - capabilities potentially from Iran and even North Korea".

U.S. intelligence agencies concluded in 2016 that Russian Federation was behind an effort to tip the scale of the USA election against Hillary Clinton, with a state-authorised campaign of cyber-attacks and fake news stories planted on social media. Then the two departments would have 45 days to determine whether action is required, Coats told reporters.

The State and Treasury departments will then be the ones to decide on the appropriate sanctions to recommend and impose, Bolton said.

Bolton said the order was necessary to ensure a formal process and authorisation for sanctions, but he said he was in talks with lawmakers about legislation as well. Those backing the legislation say that under the bill, a nation would know exactly what it would face if caught. Instead, he seemed to accept Putin's denials that Moscow sought to influence the presidential contest.

But critics said that Trump's move is not tough enough, and leaves him too much discretion, after the broad assault on the USA electoral process by Moscow two years ago.

"This is meant to be a very broad effort to prevent foreign manipulation of the political process", national security adviser John Bolton said during a briefing Wednesday.

"It's more than Russian Federation", he said, noting potential threats from China, North Korea and Iran.

The order, however, will apply beyond just Russian Federation to other foreign entities that are seeking to influence USA elections.

USA lawmakers have introduced various pieces of Russia-related legislation urging punishments for election meddling.

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