Trump Executive Order Would Punish Foreigners Linked To Election Interference

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

The order gives the executive branch the discretion to impose sanctions for election meddling, but the bill would spell out sanctions on key economic sectors of a country that interferes.

Fifty-five days before the November 6 midterm congressional elections, officials said they have are seeing some attempts to meddle, from Russia, China and other countries.

Trump has repeatedly denounced Muller's investigating as a "witch hunt".

Trump has drawn widespread criticism for not taking threats to the US electoral system seriously enough, particularly Russian interference in the 2016 presidential race.

Robert Mueller, a special counsel, has been looking into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election and any potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow, a claim that has been denied both by Moscow and Trump himself.

Some lawmakers expressed dissatisfaction with the new executive order.

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Lawmakers have accused the administration of shirking its responsibility to protect United States elections and have been preparing measures to force Trump's hand. Bolton said the order was necessary to ensure a formal process and authorisation for sanctions.

The White House declined to comment.

"We felt it was important to demonstrate the president has taken command of this issue, that it's something he cares deeply about", Bolton added. "The integrity of our elections and our constitutional process are a high priority to him".

"There is no question that protecting our elections from foreign interference is one of the most pressing issues facing our country today", Rubio and Van Hollen said in a joint statement Wednesday. Acting on the law, the Treasury Department has imposed sanctions against 24 Russians, striking at allies of Putin.

"When it comes to foreign policy, my administration has delivered decisively and taken action where previous administrations have not", Trump said. USA lawmakers have introduced various pieces of Russia-related legislation urging punishments for election meddling.

Even if Congress fails to act, the national security adviser said there should be "full waiver authorities" for the president because the challenges and threats posed to the US occur in a "broader world that is very complex". Last week, executives from Facebook and Twitter testified before the Senate intelligence committee about Russian interference.

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"If we are going to actually deter Russian Federation and others from interfering in our elections in the future, we need to spell out strong, clear consequences, without ambiguity", Warner added. Coats said the United States had seen signs of election meddling from Russian Federation and China, and potential capabilities for such meddling from Iran and North Korea.

Coats said the executive order directs intelligence agencies to determine whether an individual, entity or country has interfered in a U.S. election and, if so, turn the information over to the attorney general and Department of Homeland Security.

'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.

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

"If we see something has happened, then there's going to be an automatic response to that", the former GOP Indiana senator said. It would base decisions on implementing sanctions on any US intelligence community conclusion that meddling occurred.

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