Published: Fri, September 14, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

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

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

Coats added that, while the order is a response to Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election, the Trump administration is looking beyond Moscow.

US intelligence officials have found that in the campaign leading up to the 2016 USA presidential election, Russian hackers breached the Democratic National Committee and leaked confidential information.

National Security Adviser, John Bolton, said the executive order includes measures to prevent foreign interference as well as reporting and punishing it.

Under investigation for his campaign's ties to the Russian government, President Trump has often lashed out at Obama for what he sees as an inherent contradiction.

Trump's executive order declares that a "national emergency" exists linked to possible foreign interference in the USA elections, a declaration that creates a legal basis for the future imposition of sanctions linked to that issue.

"When it comes to foreign policy, my administration has delivered decisively and taken action where previous administrations have not", Trump said.

However, the opposition Democrats were not satisfied with the executive order.

In the past year Mueller's team has filed charges against 12 hackers of the Russian GRU intelligence agency, and 13 people, including a top Putin crony, linked to the St. Petersburg-based Internet Research Agency, which USA intelligence says is a major source of online disinformation.

On a conference call with reporters Wednesday, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats explained how the assessment reports on interference will work. If they agree with the assessment, it would trigger automatic sanctions.

The sanctions themselves range from blocked assets, export licenses, access to banking and lending, credit transfers, or US investors, according to Bolton.

The Treasury and State departments also would be advised of the election attack and would be able to impose additional sanctions.

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A key State Department official praised the executive order as a good start.

It would also target senior Russian political figure and oligarchs close to Putin, barring them from the United States and freezing their assets.

In his first public comments since he retired in June, Rogers said: "That should concern us as citizens". "The way we have been doing it [until now] is fingernail-pulling".

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

"I think his actions speak for themselves", Bolton said.

Still, Kanuck said the executive order alone is likely not enough. He said he was in talks with lawmakers about possible legislation. "I doubt it will completely change the incentive-cost-benefit analysis of the other side".

He said Mr. Trump has demonstrated that he won't stand up to Mr. Putin. The order, according to administration officials, is broad in terms of who and what can be sanctioned.

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.

"Today's announcement by the Administration recognizes the threat, but does not go far enough to address it", they wrote.

But Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Republican Richard Burr expressed hope the new executive order will "send a clear message" to Russia, Iran and others.

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