Donald Trump Signs Executive Order On Election Meddling

Trump to issue order allowing sanctions on foreigners meddling in U.S. elections

Trump to issue order allowing sanctions on foreigners meddling in U.S. elections

President Donald Trump on Wednesday signed an executive order aimed at punishing foreign actors that attempt to interfere in USA elections, as Russian Federation did in in the 2016 presidential election.

Sanctions such as freezing assets, restricting foreign exchange transactions and blocking access to USA financial institutions will be triggered by incursions on election systems, political parties and candidates, or for circulating propaganda, said National Security Adviser John R. Bolton.

The U.S. attorney general and the Department of Homeland Security will then have 45 days to review those findings.

The executive order also requires any federal agency aware of election meddling to promptly report that data to the office of the director of national intelligence.

Sanctions could include freezing assets, restricting foreign exchange transactions, limiting access to United States financial institutions, and prohibiting USA citizens from investing in companies involved, said White House national security adviser John Bolton. Automatic sanctionsThe 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.

While the intelligence community keeps a close tab on any worldwide interference before the elections, after the elections, the executive order directs the intelligence agencies to assess whether or not whether or not there has been any individual entity, country that has authorised, directed sponsored or otherwise supported an interference in the U.S. election, Coats said.

While the Obama administration privately warned Russian Federation to stop interfering on behalf of Trump, Yahoo News Chief Investigative Correspondent Michael Isikoff says it's fair to criticize Obama for not taking sterner action.

Trump stunned the world during a summit with Vladimir Putin in July, seeming to take the word of the Russian president over his own intelligence agencies. "The United States can and must do more", they said in a statement.

Joining Bolton, the Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said that this is an ongoing effort.

After the reports are complete, the Treasury and State Departments would decide on appropriate sanctions to impose on the potential actors or countries.

'We felt it was important to demonstrate the president is taking command of this issue, ' said Trump's national security advisor John Bolton on a call with reporters.

Coats warned last month that Russian Federation is trying to interfere in the 2018 midterm elections.

In his first public comments since he retired in June, Rogers said: "That should concern us as citizens". He said he was in talks with lawmakers about possible legislation. "So I think this order is a further demonstration of that", he added. The intelligence officials saying that they have also seen interference activity out of China, Iran, and North Korea.

The order sets up a high-level process for the US intelligence community and other law enforcement officials to investigate and evaluate possible election meddling. However, Bolton said the administration wanted to immediately address and create a mechanism for election security that would be quicker than legislation having to pass Congress.

While not strictly specified, the order more than likely targets Russian Federation.

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