President Trump signed an executive order Wednesday to impose sanctions on individuals and entities that meddle in US elections, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and National Security Adviser John Bolton announced in a conference call with reporters.
'That It's something he cares deeply about that the integrity of our elections and our constitutional process are a high priority to him, ' Bolton said. So the others, do incorporate - it's more than Russian Federation here that we're looking at'.
Coats listed Iran, North Korea and China as other countries that have the capability to launch attacks on elections. The text of the order has not yet been released.
There is some frustration among lawmakers that Mr Trump's executive order could undercut congressional efforts to deter any election meddling in the United States by foreign powers, according to CBS News.
The executive order covers not just interference with campaign infrastructure, but it also covers the distribution of disinformation and propaganda, national security adviser John Bolton told reporters.
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The threatened sanctions are notable because they aim not just at foreign companies and individuals seeking to disrupt USA electoral infrastructure - electoral databases, vote tabulation processes and the like - but also of propaganda campaigns and leaks of sensitive political information.
The State and Treasury departments would decide on appropriate additional sanctions to recommend and impose, he said.
Trump has come under fire from both Democrats and Republicans, who accuse the president of taking a weak stance on accusations of Russian interference.
Sanctions could include freezing assets, restricting foreign exchange transactions, limiting access to US financial institutions, and prohibiting USA citizens from investing in companies involved, said White House national security adviser John Bolton.
"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, but then to do a full assessment after the election to assure the American people just exactly what may have happened or may not have happened", Coats said. The Deter Act, proposed in January by Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-Maryland) and Marco Rubio (R-Florida), would mandate broad economic sanctions against Russian companies and require the White House to identify other countries that had been involved in electoral interference and provide proposed sanctions within 90 days.