Trump Executive Order Would Punish Foreigners Linked To Election Interference

15 September, 2018, 01:22 | Author: Carlos George
  • Putin denies Russia interfered in US elections

President Trump signed an executive order early Wednesday to deter meddling into USA election by foreign entities ahead of the 2018 mid-terms and the 2020 presidential election.

"They, within another 45 days, will assess the validity and the impact of the intelligence". It would set up automatic sanctions that take effect without White House oversight and at the discretion of the director of national security. "The United States can and must do more", such as the mandatory sanctions attached to legislation they proposed, the senators wrote.

"We are looking forward, using the basis of 2016 as a warning that doesn't happen again", Coats said, promising round-the-clock monitoring through November.

The order sets up a high-level process for the US intelligence community and other law enforcement officials to investigate and evaluate possible election meddling.

Still, some action on election interference had been anticipated.

In July, Trump met one-on-one with Putin, a meeting he did not ask his top intelligence officials - including Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats - for advice on, Coats later revealed.

The sanctions could include blocking the assets of the individuals and entities within the US jurisdiction, prohibiting USA individuals and entities from engaging in transactions with or investing in the entities involved. "It is meant to be active now before the election", he said. "These are sensitive, sometimes very risky operations, and we have to operate with respect to sources and methods", he said. "We have to conduct this with respect to the sensitivity of the information, the risk to our sources and methods as well as a range of other factors", he said.

Lawmakers have accused the administration of shirking its responsibility to protect USA elections and have been preparing measures to force Trump's hand. Marco Rubio, R-Florida and Chris Van Hollen, D-Maryland.

Congress passed a financial sanctions bill against the Kremlin over a year ago and since January 2017, over 200 individuals and companies with connections to Russian Federation have been subjected to its penalties.

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"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 order also ensures that "law enforcement work under the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice", he added.

While such powers already exist in the White House and US Treasury, Coats said the new order would set up an automatic and formal review, while giving Trump flexibility on what actions to take.

He said he has spoken to members of Congress in recent weeks but indicated that time is a factor.

The issue with waiting on Congress, he explained, is "never knowing how long legislation will take". 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".

Amid serious backlash from both sides of the aisle, the Republican president later explained that he "misspoke" and said he had "great confidence" in U.S. intelligence.

Mr. Coats said intelligence agencies were working around the clock to protect the midterm elections.

The order does not target Russian Federation in particular, but any entity that engages in election meddling.

"We have seen signs of not just Russian Federation, but from China, and capabilities potentially from Iran, and even North Korea", attempting to interfere so far this year, he said.



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