Trump to mandate sanctions against foreign governments that interfere in U.S. elections

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

President Donald Trump signed an executive order Wednesday authorizing sanctions against foreigners who meddle in USA elections, a move that counters critics who claim he has not taking election security seriously enough. The order will require Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats to conduct regular assessments about potential foreign interference in elections.

The sanctions would automatically be triggered against a foreign government if they are found to have interfered or influenced elections.

Coats said the executive order directs intelligence agencies to determine whether an individual, entity or country has interfered in a US election and, if so, turn the information over to the attorney general and Department of Homeland Security. Mr. Trump has been criticized for his response to Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential elections, and the intelligence community believes Russia is continuing to attempt to interfere as the November midterms quickly approach. He said the U.S.is also anxious about the cyber activities of China, North Korea and Iran.

National security adviser John Bolton said criticism that Trump had been too deferential to Russia or blinkered in his view of Russian election interference played "zero" role in the new action.

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The sanctions authority would be the latest effort by the Trump administration to address to concerns raised by US intelligence agencies that Russian Federation is seeking to interfere in the 2018 USA elections after doing so two years ago. That's according to sources, who exclusively told Reuters an executive order could be signed by President Donald Trump as early as Wednesday (September 12).

An aide for Van Hollen told The Hill that the senator's office has had extensive conversations with the administration regarding the order.

As The Washington Post first reported in August, the order appears to be an effort to stave off bipartisan legislation that would mandate tough federal action.

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