Trump to target election meddling with new sanctions order

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Trump to target election meddling with new sanctions order

In a joint statement, senators Chris Van Hollen and Marco Rubio - who co-sponsored legislation that would mandate heavy sanctions for election meddling - seconded Warner's assessment.

The order calls for sanctioning any individual, company or country that interferes with campaign infrastructure, such as voter registration databases, voting machines and equipment used for tabulating or transmitting results.

Based on a recent draft of the order reviewed by the US official, it will require any federal agency aware of election interference by foreigners to take the information to the office of Director of National Intelligence.

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.

The 2018 USA midterms are less than two months away and authorities are pre-empting foreign attacks on the elections based on US intelligence. Coats did not tell reporters what evidence, if any, the intelligence community has seen of Russian hacking this year, but mentioned that he had seen "capability and attempts" from Iran, China, and North Korea as well.

Coats said Trump's order directs intelligence agencies to conduct an assessment within 45 days after an election to report any meddling to the attorney general and Department of Homeland Security.

The order gives the government 45 days after an election to assess whether there has been any outside influence, and then another 45 days to assess whether sanctions can be imposed.

"We have not seen the intensity of what happened in 2016, but it's only a keyboard click away".

Trump signed the bill into law only after Congress passed it with huge majorities. "The President has said repeatedly he is determined there not be foreign interference (in United States elections)". Those backing the legislation say that under the bill, a nation would know exactly what it would face if caught.

"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. Trump did not directly answer the question.

Trump instead renewed a demand for an investigation of Clinton's email practices as secretary of state and noted that Putin had issued an "extremely strong and powerful" denial.

Amid serious backlash from both sides of the aisle, the Republican president later explained that he "misspoke" and said he had "great confidence" in USA intelligence.

Trump has pushed back, saying that no other American president has been as tough on Russian Federation.

In June, the United States slapped sanctions on several Russian companies and individuals for allegedly aiding Russia's intelligence agency in cyber-attacks against the US. Russian Federation denies meddling and Trump has dismissed the probe as a "witch hunt".

"I thought there was an opportunity there that I wish we would have taken advantage of", Rogers said at an event at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, on the relationship between the presidency and the intelligence community.

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