Trump signs order on sanctions for US election meddling

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

However, the opposition Democrats were not satisfied with the executive order.

"Today, I took action to protect the integrity of the United States electoral system by signing an executive order to ensure that we can swiftly identify and punish any foreign interference in our elections".

Bolton said that the executive order, entitled "Imposing Certain Sanctions in the Event of Foreign Interference in a United States Election", would "protect the USA against interference in our elections and the political process more broadly".

"We're going to take strong action to secure our election systems and the process", Trump said in a statement.

With the midterm elections now two months away, National Intelligence Director Dan Coats said the U.S. is not currently seeing the intensity of Russian intervention that was experienced in 2016, but didn't rule it out.

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Trump has repeatedly called the special counsel investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election a "witch hunt", and alleged without evidence that the inquiry is "rigged" against him.

FILE - U.S. President Donald Trump, left, and Russian President Vladimir Putin arrive for a one-on-one-meeting at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland, July 16, 2018. Russian Federation denies meddling and Trump has dismissed the probe as a "witch hunt". Lawmakers said the executive order, which would give the president decision-making power on imposing sanctions, was insufficient. Apple creating portal for police data requests Trump to order sanctions on foreign companies that meddle in USA elections: report The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Better Medicare Alliance - Hurricane Florence a new test for Trump team MORE said. Bolton said criticism of the president's response to the issue, which has included his controversial comments in Helsinki and numerous tweets, played "zero" role in driving the issuance of the executive order. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., are pushing a bill that would prohibit foreign governments from purchasing election ads, using social media to spread false information or disrupting election infrastructure. The order would direct intelligence agencies to assess whether any people or entities interfered.

It requires the national intelligence director to make regular assessments about foreign interference and asks the Homeland Security and Justice departments to submit reports on meddling in campaign-related infrastructure.

"They, within another 45 days, will assess the validity and the impact of the intelligence".

Then the USA attorney general and Department of Homeland Security will have a further 45 days to decide whether to go forward with sanctions.

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The administration is ready to work with Congress on a sanctions law, Mr. Bolton said, but the White House wants to move fast.

And while some of the proposed legislation focuses on Russian Federation, the officials said it was important to take a broader view.

'This clearly is a process put in place to try to assure that we are doing every possible thing we can to first of all prevent any interference in our election, ' said Coats.

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

"I applaud the attempt to make it harder to evade, to let something fall away and not be countered", Michele Markoff, the State Department's Deputy Coordinator for Cyber, said during a panel discussion in Washington Wednesday.

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