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15 September 2018, 01:23 | Darnell Patrick
Trump to issue order allowing sanctions on foreigners meddling in U.S. elections
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.
Sanctions could include freezing assets, restricting foreign exchange transactions, limiting access to US financial institutions, and prohibiting USA citizens from investing in companies involved, national security adviser John Bolton told reporters.
Bolton said under the order, the intelligence community would have 45 days to determine whether there was meddling in the election. The order gives the administration broad authority to the government to sanction any foreign entity suspected of interfering in USA elections.
The order will put a range of agencies in charge of deciding if meddling occurred, led by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and including the CIA, the National Security Agency and the Homeland Security Department, the sources said.
With under two months until the first national USA elections since 2016, the Trump administration is outlining how it would respond to the kind of election meddling senior intelligence officials say could be coming. The intelligence officials saying that they have also seen interference activity out of China, Iran, and North Korea.
"And if we see something has happened, then there's going to be an automatic response to that".
US Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats speaks during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, DC, on August 2, 2018.
CBS News confirmed Tuesday that the White House was preparing the executive order.
"Today's announcement by the administration recognizes the threat, but does not go far enough to address it".
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Sanction targets could include individual people or entire companies accused of interfering in United States elections by cyber attacks or other means, a U.S. official told Reuters.
Trump administration officials said Wednesday they have not ruled out working with lawmakers on additional measures, but said they did not want to have to wait for legislation to be approved before having a chance to act.
USA intelligence agencies concluded in 2016 that Russian Federation was behind an effort to tip the scale of the U.S. election against Hillary Clinton, with a state-authorised campaign of cyber-attacks and fake news stories planted on social media. And evidence would not be forthcoming in the event that the White House considers sanctions under this order-the first word of any assessment would come with the sanctions themselves, Bolton told reporters.
The executive order in this regard is likely to be signed by Trump as early as Wednesday.
In a statement the Democratic National Committee said Trump's order "does nothing to hold Russian Federation accountable" for 2016.
The sanctions would block United States financial activities by those implicated in the election interference and those individuals would be prohibited from entering this country.
Russian Federation has continually denied allegations of interfering in the campaign. Russian entities have not targeted those systems to the degree they did in 2016, Coats said Wednesday.
In June, the USA slapped sanctions on several Russian companies and individuals for allegedly aiding Russia's intelligence agency in cyber-attacks against the US.
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