Published: Sun, September 16, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Trump authorizes sanctions for foreign election meddling

Trump authorizes sanctions for foreign election meddling

President Donald Trump signed an executive order Wednesday to give federal agencies power to sanction countries, foreign individuals and companies that interfere or spread misinformation in US elections.

The executive order also comes roughly two months ahead of crucial U.S. mid-term elections that feature tight races.

The Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal previously reported on earlier drafts of the executive order.

The executive order instructs U.S. intelligence agencies to determine if there are attempts afoot to influence the legislative elections, as occurred during the 2016 presidential vote, and establishes a mechanism for imposing sanctions if interference in any future United States election is detected, Efe reported.

"By mandating the imposition of sanctions against any individual or entity that seeks to interfere in our elections, we are sending a clear signal that the United States government will not tolerate interference of any kind and will use every tool at our disposal to protect our democratic process", she said. Trump stunned the world by accepting Putin's denials over the word of his own intelligence agencies.

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Last week, Trump's former campaign adviser George Papadopoulos was sentenced to 14 days in prison for lying to the FBI as part of Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference.

Russian Federation has continually denied allegations of interfering in the campaign. Russian Federation denies meddling and Trump has dismissed the probe as a "witch hunt". Lawmakers said the executive order, which would give the president decision-making power on imposing sanctions, was insufficient.

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

Trump signed executive order that initiates actions, including sanctions, against foreign entities who meddle or try to interfere in polls. The White House hopes the order will help dispel the notion that Trump has allowed election meddling to go unchallenged. The order would direct intelligence agencies to assess whether any people or entities interfered.

The order requires the Office of the National Intelligence Director to conduct regular assessments about potential foreign interference in the elections, asks for reports by the Homeland Security and Justice departments in the case of meddling in campaign-related infrastructure, he said.

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Mr. Trump later said he misspoke and vouched for intelligence agencies' findings.

Intelligence and Homeland Security officials would have 45 days to evaluate any meddling intel and determine if the actions meet the level of triggering 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.

In a statement the Democratic National Committee said Trump's order "does nothing to hold Russian Federation accountable" for 2016.

Fox News political commentator Marie Harf and X Strategies Communication Vice President Madison Gesiotto discuss the strength of the US economy and how it will affect the midterm elections. "The new executive order certainly does not absolve the Senate from passing much-needed legislation and funding to beef up our election security and prevent future attacks on our democracy from foreign adversaries", Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said. "We have seen signs. capabilities from Iran and even North Korea".

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"This is more than Russian Federation and we will continue to look at that", he said.

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