Trump to issue order allowing sanctions on foreigners meddling 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

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

"Unfortunately, President Trump demonstrated in Helsinki and elsewhere that he simply can not be counted upon to stand up to (Russian President Vladimir) Putin when it matters", said Warner, who is sponsoring the bill.

Rather than issuing a weak executive order two years after these attacks, President Trump should have responded swiftly and strongly, they said.

This email will be delivered to your inbox once a day in the morning. He added that "an executive order that inevitably leaves the President broad discretion to decide whether to impose tough sanctions against those who attack our democracy is insufficient".

"I mean, it could be Russian Federation, but it could also be China", he said during a 2016 debate with Clinton.

He said the intelligence community has been working on this for a while, but the executive order puts into place a formal process to ensure the administration is doing everything it possibly can to prevent foreign interference.

"It's more than Russian Federation we're looking at here", Coats said, noting "we have not seen the intensity we did in 2016".

Rogers also sought to correct previous media reports that Trump had told him to publicly state that there was no collusion between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign in the 2016 election.

It also comes as the White House is trying to take a tougher line against Moscow after Trump publicly accepted Russian President Vladimir Putin's denials of his country's involvement in any interference in the 2016 USA presidential elections, contrary to the findings of the US intelligence community. With the current climate focused on Russian interference, Bolton was quick to clarify that the executive order is "not country-specific" and that Trump "cares deeply about it".

Sanctions will be calibrated based on the seriousness of the interference, Bolton said.

Former National Security Agency chief Mike Rogers said in his first public remarks since leaving his post in June that he wishes President Donald Trump would have used the Helsinki Summit to confront Russian President Vladimir Putin on election meddling. He called it a necessary response to Russia's "hostile acts against America's democratic system that were created to cause division and discord within our nation".

He named Russia, China, North Korea and Iran as countries who could have the capability to interfere in the November midterms and were being monitored by U.S. intelligence. We are taking nothing for granted here. "The president has said repeatedly that he is determined that there not be foreign interference in our political process", Bolton said on a conference call.

The order will empower the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the CIA, the NSA, and the Department of Homeland Security to make decisions on if election meddling happened.

First the intelligence services will have 45 days to assess whether there has been an attempt to manipulate or influence a United States election.

However, Mr Coats said the order is also aimed at other countries, which pose the biggest cyber threats.

It also authorizes sanctions for engaging in covert, fraudulent or deceptive activities, such as distributing disinformation or propaganda, to influence or undermine confidence in USA elections. A similar bill is moving forward in the House. Sens. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) and Chris Van Hollen (D., Md.) criticized the measure for not going far enough.

A wide variety of additional sanctions could be imposed under certain conditions.

"The United States can and must do more", they said.

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