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Trump signs Executive Order imposing sanctions for interference in upcoming elections

WASHINGTON, Sept 12 (KUNA) -- US President Donald Trump signed Wednesday an Executive Order entitled "Imposing Certain Sanctions in the Event of Foreign Interference in the United States Elections." National Security Adviser John Bolton told reporters via a teleconference that the Executive Order is a "further effort among several that the administration has made to protect the United States against foreign interference in our elections and really our political process more broadly." He added that it includes "not just interference with election or campaign infrastructure, but it also covers the distribution of propaganda and disinformation," saying that Trump "declares it a national emergency." For his part, Director of the National Intelligence Dan Coats said: that "subsequent to the election then, this order leads us and directs us as an intelligence community to assess whether or not there has been any individual, entity, country that has authorized, directed sponsors or otherwise supports interference in a U.S. election." "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 election, to report on anything we see between now and the election, but then to do a full assessment after the election to ensure the American people just exactly what may have happened or may not have happened," he stressed.
He reiterated: "we have seen signs of not just Russia, but from China, from capabilities potentially from Iran and even North Korea," adding "it's more than Russia here that we're looking at, and we continue to monitor it." He re-emphasized that this Executive Order "authorizes the development and application of sanctions against any individual, any entity or country that authorizes, directs, sponsors or otherwise supports interference in a US election." Last month, Bolton warned that besides Russia, China, Iran and North Korea could be meddling in the upcoming midterm elections due in November and that steps are being taken "to try and prevent it," as "those are the four countries that we're most concerned about." Also, Coats said last month that the intelligence community "continues to be concerned about the threats" of upcoming U.S. elections, both the midterms due in November and the presidential elections of 2020. (end) si.ibi