Trump OKs sanctions for foreigners who meddle in elections

President Donald Trump talks about Hurricane Florence following a briefing in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington Tuesday Sept. 11 2018

Trump to issue order allowing sanctions on foreigners meddling in U.S. elections

However, the opposition Democrats were not satisfied with the executive order. "They are committed to undermining our system", Clapper said.

The executive order addresses not only interference with campaign and election infrastructure, but also propaganda efforts.

"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.

But he said: 'We have not seen the intensity of what happened in 2016, ' when the USA intelligence community determined there was a Russian-backed effort.

Instead, the main action taken since then has been indictments issued by Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating possible collusion with Russian Federation. Mueller is also looking into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian officials.

But since becoming president, Trump has repeatedly dismissed the idea that he was helped by Moscow, calling it "fake news", and has avoided criticising Putin. But the executive branch, including the President, will have the final say in whether sanctions will be applies. Automatic sanctionsThe order represents an effort by the administration to look tough on election security before the voting in November, which will determine whether Trump's Republicans maintain their majorities in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate.

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

Rogers said he would tell Trump: "Mr. President, I understand that, but I'm paid by the citizens of the nation to tell you what we think".

According to the order, an array of federal agencies will be tapped to serve as the decision makers on whether interference has occurred.

On a conference call with reporters, National Security Advisor John Bolton said this is a multi-agency process put in place to assure that the administration is doing everything possible to prevent any interference ahead of the elections and will provide for full assessment after the election to assure the American people of the integrity of their vote.

Additionally, the order authorizes the State Department and the Treasury Department to add on additional sanctions, if deemed necessary. 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.

"You never know how long legislation will take", he said.

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"Unfortunately, President Trump demonstrated in Helsinki and elsewhere that he simply can not be counted upon to stand up to Putin when it matters", Warner said.

"While the administration has yet to share the full text, an executive order that inevitably leaves the President broad discretion to decide whether to impose tough sanctions against those who attack our democracy is insufficient", said Sen Mark Warner, D-Va., the top Democrat on the Senate investigation into Russian Federation.

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. He said the U.S. is also anxious about the cyber activities of China, North Korea and Iran.

"If we see something, there's going to be an automatic response to that", Coats said.

Congress is also considering several pieces of legislation that would punish foreign countries for interfering in US elections. Congress passed a Russian Federation sanctions bill more than a year ago.

Though Trump has raised eyebrows with his friendly posture toward Moscow, his administration has often signaled a harder line against Russian Federation - a "two-track" approach, as an anonymous administration official described it in an explosive New York Times op-ed on September 5.

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A wide variety of additional sanctions could be imposed under certain conditions.

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