Trump Signs Executive Order to Sanction Foreigners Who Interfere in U.S

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

According to reports, President Trump intends to sign an executive order later this week which will order sanctions on all foreign companies or individuals who are judged by the intelligence community to have interfered in the United States midterm elections. And after each election, the intelligence community will have 45 days to investigate whether there was an attempt at interference, followed by a Justice Department review. It will impose sanctions on any foreign entities found trying to meddle in US elections, and would be "another tool in the tool kit" to protect the USA election system, an administration official told the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday.

National Intelligence Director Dan Coats said the directive was in response to alleged Kremlin interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said the intelligence community have seen "signs" of interference from Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea, but nothing to the level of the 2016 election. He said the U.S. is also anxious about the cyber activities of China, North Korea and Iran.

Coats said the executive order directs intelligence agencies to determine whether an individual, entity or country has interfered in a United States election and, if so, turn the information over to the attorney general and Department of Homeland Security.

Coats also declined to say whether he has yet received a full briefing of what Trump and Putin discussed in their one-on-one meeting, after telling reporters at the White House last month he was not in a position to "fully understand" what happened there. The White House hopes the order will help dispel the notion that Trump has allowed election meddling to go unchallenged.

Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., and Sen Marco Rubio, R-Fla., immediately issued a joint statement calling the White House effort insufficient and calling on Congress to pass tougher legislation now.

"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 U.S. government will not tolerate interference of any kind and will use every tool at our disposal to protect our democratic process", she said.

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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.

The administration has also leveled sanctions against Russian Federation on numerous occasions as punishment for the Sergei Skripal nerve agent attack, interference in the 2016 election and other "malign" activity.

"There has been no evidence of a foreign power altering the outcome or vote tabulation in any United States election", he said.

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. If the U.S. determines that any foreign meddling has occurred, the executive order ensures a quick, forceful, and proportionate response, he said.

"The president has acted decisively today", Bolton said.

Russian Federation has continually denied allegations of interfering in the campaign.

"This clearly is a process put in place to try to assure that we are doing every possible thing we can, first of all, to prevent any interference with our elections to report on anything we see between now and the election". Russian entities have not targeted those systems to the degree they did in 2016, Coats said Wednesday.

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