Trump authorizes sanctions against foreigners who meddle in USA elections

Remigio Civitarese
Settembre 14, 2018

President Donald Trump on Wednesday signed an executive order that authorizes new sanctions on foreign countries or individuals that try to interfere in US elections.

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.

Specifically, the executive order authorises appropriate and meaningful sanctions - some are full blocking sanctions, others are to be designed and calibrated in light of specific facts - against any individual, foreign entity, or country that authorises, directs, sponsors, or otherwise supports foreign interference in a United States election, he said.

The executive order requires the Director of National Intelligence to conduct regular assessments into whether there is foreign interference in US elections.

"It's more than Russian Federation here that we are looking at", Coats said, noting that there have been signs of election interference coming from China, Iran and North Korea.

By the summer of 2016, Russian Federation was engaged in a campaign of cyberattacks against America in an effort to sway the election in Trump's favor, USA intel agencies have concluded.

A recurring criticism of former President Barack Obama is that he should have done more to try to stop Russian Federation from meddling in the 2016 presidential election in the U.S.

A person familiar with the process told The Hill that the White House had been in touch with Rubio's office in the days before the order was signed, and that administration officials told the senator's aides that the bipartisan legislation had influenced the language in the order. Those backing the legislation say that under the bill, a nation would know exactly what it would face if caught.

"The president has acted decisively today", Bolton said.

Trump's national security adviser John Bolton denied that harsh reaction to Trump's Helsinki meeting with Putin was partly what spurred the decision to sign the new order. He cast the White House action as a way to strengthen US defenses immediately.

"While the administration has yet to share the full text, an executive order that inevitably leaves the President broad discretion to decide whether to impose tough sanctions against those who attack our democracy is insufficient", said Sen Mark Warner, D-Va., the top Democrat on the Senate investigation into Russian Federation. "So I think this order is a further demonstration of that", he added.

Sources told CBS News Tuesday the executive order does not mention Russian Federation by name.

"It was a politically perilous issue for the White House".

The order will allow the Director of National Intelligence to identify foreign meddlers and direct the Treasury Department to apply sanctions.

"James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, raised that concern". Then the two departments would have 45 days to determine whether action is required, Coats told reporters. The executive order, called "Imposing Certain Sanctions in the Event of Foreign Interference in a United States Election", establishes a mechanism to impose sanctions on any foreign individual or company found interfering. He called it a necessary response to Russia's "hostile acts against America's democratic system that were created to cause division and discord within our nation".

"As we enter election season this fall, the American people can rest assured that we are working diligently to ensure that our democracy remains secure from foreign threats", Trump said.

The harshest sanctions outlined in the order would be up to the president's discretion. Chris Van Hollen, Maryland Democrat, said in a joint statement.

If they determine and find anything that reflects an interference with the elections, they then will report that and automatic sanctions will take effect. "The President has said repeatedly he is determined there not be foreign interference (in United States elections)".

He said Mr. Trump has demonstrated that he won't stand up to Mr. Putin.

The order, coming only eight weeks before congressional elections on November 6, drew immediate criticism from both Republican and Democratic lawmakers as too little, too late. The White House publicized last moth that the National Security Council examined the issue twice with Trump presiding.

"I would veto that bill in order to protect presidential power".

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