Publicado: Sáb, Setiembre 15, 2018
Global | Por Milagro Delgado

Trump signs order authorizing sanctions for election meddling

Trump signs order authorizing sanctions for election meddling

"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 USA election", Bolton said.

"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", Mark Warner, the ranking Democratic member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said in a statement.

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.

Bolton said under the order, the intelligence community would have 45 days to determine whether there was meddling in the election.

The order also is aimed at deterring the kind of election influence allegedly carried out by Russia in the 2016 presidential election, when US intelligence services claim Russian entities spread disinformation in efforts to influence the balloting. It will impose sanctions on any foreign entities found trying to meddle in US elections, and would be "another tool in the tool kit" to protect the USA election system, an administration official told the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday.

As the director of national intelligence, Coats will oversee regular assessments about potential foreign election meddling and request reports from the Homeland Security and Justice departments determining whether action needs to be taken.

With the midterm elections now two months away, National Intelligence Director Dan Coats said the not currently seeing the intensity of Russian intervention that was experienced in 2016, but he didn't rule it out.

"We have seen signs of not just Russian Federation, but from China, and capabilities potentially from Iran, and even North Korea", attempting to interfere so far this year, he said.

"We're setting up a process or a mechanism where if we see something, we're going to say something", she said.

Several senators said Wednesday that the White House order was a good first step but fell short of what's needed and could give Trump too much wiggle room.

Specifically, the executive order authorises appropriate and meaningful sanctions - some are full blocking sanctions, others are to be designed and calibrated in light of specific facts - against any individual, foreign entity, or country that authorises, directs, sponsors, or otherwise supports foreign interference in a U.S. election, he said.

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The executive order comes as bills in the House and Senate have gained support that would require sanctions against any government or person determined to have engaged in electoral interference.

Congress is also considering several pieces of legislation that would punish foreign countries for interfering in US elections.

"If we are going to actually deter Russian Federation and others from interfering in our elections in the future, we need to spell out strong, clear consequences, without ambiguity", Warner added.

"It's more than Russian Federation that we're monitoring here", Coats said.

The sanctions would block USA financial activities by those implicated in the election interference and those individuals would be prohibited from entering this country.

"The president has acted decisively today", Bolton said, adding that the administration looked forward to engaging with Congress further on the issue.

Lawmakers have accused the administration of shirking its responsibility to protect United States elections and have been preparing measures to force Trump's hand.

Bolton said Wednesday that the White House is open to ideas and proposals from lawmakers, but said new legislation might be slow in coming.

In a statement the Democratic National Committee said Trump's order "does nothing to hold Russian Federation accountable" for 2016.

Trump has been dogged by accusations that he has not given enough credence to foreign interference in the U.S. election system, including in the 2016 race he won against Hillary Clinton.

DNI Coats said the measure was being put in place as part of government efforts to report on any suspicious activity between now and November's elections and to do a full assessment after the election that would trigger sanctions if necessary. He has cited USA sanctions and the expulsion of alleged Russian spies from the U.S.

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