Published: Thu, September 13, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

Trump OKs sanctions for foreigners who meddle in elections

Trump OKs sanctions for foreigners who meddle in elections

President Donald Trump has signed an executive order that will slap sanctions on foreign companies or people who interfere in USA elections.

At a press briefing following the executive order, National Security Adviser John Bolton said the move was "intended to be a very broad effort to prevent foreign manipulation" of United States politics, USA media reported.

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats would turn over any significant findings of interference to the attorney general and the secretary of Homeland Security.

Punishments could include the blocking of assets in the United States and the State and Treasury departments could also seek more expansive sanctions, such as curtailing access to USA financial institutions. The order, according to administration officials, is broad in terms of who and what can be sanctioned. Check back for updates.

The 2018 USA midterms are less than two months away and authorities are pre-empting foreign attacks on the elections based on US intelligence.

The intelligence community would have 45 days to make its assessment, and then the two departments would have 45 days to determine whether action is required, he told reporters on a conference call on Wednesday.

'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.

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But aides have said that Trump's anger at what he views as a questioning of his surprise election victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton colors his view of the threat to future elections, and slowed down the administration's planning for this year's congressional election.

"Today's announcement by the administration recognizes the threat, but does not go far enough to address it", said Republican Senator Marco Rubio and Democratic Senator Chris Van Hollen in a joint statement, advocating legislation.

Most American intelligence agencies have determined Russian Federation sought to influence the 2016 presidential contest in Trump's favor, and top officials have warned foreign actors continue to work toward affecting the outcomes of future U.S. contests. He has cited US sanctions and the expulsion of alleged Russian spies from the U.S. Trump dismisses the investigations as a political witch hunt.

In response, he recalled, Trump would say, "Mike, you know I'm in a different place". Sir, this is not about politics, it's not about parties.

In his first public comments since he retired in June, Rogers said: "That should concern us as citizens". But these sanctions have apparently not deterred the Russian government and other countries with an adversarial relationship with the U.S. from maneuvering to affect the outcome of some 2018 congressional races, according to Coates.

Rogers, who spoke Tuesday night at the Hayden Center at George Mason University in Virginia, also said earlier media reports claiming Trump had asked him to publicly deny any collusion between Moscow and Trump's campaign were inaccurate.

White House Special Counsel Robert Mueller has indicted 13 Russian individuals and three companies for allegedly meddling in the 2016 presidential election. "They are committed to undermining our system", Clapper said.

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