Trump signs new order to sanction countries that meddle in U.S

Lamar Ellis
September 15, 2018

"There has been no evidence of a foreign power altering the outcome or vote tabulation in any U.S. election", Trump said in a statement, nevertheless adding that "We're going to take strong action to secure our election systems and the process".

The new executive order gives USA intelligence agencies 45 days after an election to report any efforts to meddle with the outcome.

Mr Trump has been criticised for his response to alleged Russian meddling.

It is an attempt to guarantee the legitimacy of the congressional and state-wide elections on November 6 as well as future votes after Russian Federation meddled in the 2016 presidential race.

The US President has also denied collusion on numerous occasions.

Trump has repeatedly denounced Muller's investigating as a "witch hunt". "Today's announcement by the administration recognises 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.

"We felt it was important to show the president has taken command of this issue, that it is something he cares deeply about, that the integrity of our elections [and] our constitutional process are a top priority", said Mr. Bolton, who briefed reporters on the executive order.

"Zero", he said when asked what role the backlash played.

"There has been no evidence of a foreign power altering the outcome or vote tabulation in any United States election", he said.

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Under the order, intelligence agencies, led by the director of national intelligence, would assess attacks and forward findings to the Justice and Homeland Security departments.

"They, within another 45 days, will assess the validity and the impact of the 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. It also describes a process for the Treasury and State departments to recommend appropriate, automatic sanctions.

Bolton said the order was necessary to ensure a formal process and authorisation for sanctions, but he said he was in talks with lawmakers about legislation as well. But he said the order will apply not just to Russian Federation but to others possible bad actors, including China, North Korea, and Iran. "Unfortunately, President Trump demonstrated in Helsinki and elsewhere that he simply can not be counted upon to stand up to (Russian President Vladimir) Putin when it matters", said Warner, who is sponsoring the bill.

Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, ranking Democrat on the Senate intelligence committee, said the order leaves the president with broad discretion to decide whether to impose tough sanctions.

"We are doing everything we possibly can, first of all to prevent any interference with our election, and then to do a full assessment after the election", Coats said Wednesday. USA officials have also identified China, Iran and North Korea as potential threats.

"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. He cast the White House action as a way to strengthen USA defenses immediately. Congress passed a Russian Federation sanctions bill more than a year ago.

Rather than issuing a weak executive order two years after these attacks, President Trump should have responded swiftly and strongly, they said.

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