President Donald Trump on Wednesday signed an executive order that seeks to prevent and punish foreign interference in U.S. elections. The executive order, which would impose sanctions on individuals, entities, or countries, was announced by National Security Adviser John Bolton during a White House conference call.
“Basically it’s 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,” Bolton said.
“We felt it was important to demonstrate the president is taking command of this issue, something he cares deeply about. The integrity of our elections and our constitutional process are a high priority to him. So I think this order is a further demonstration of that,” he added.
The executive order requires the Director of National Intelligence to conduct regular assessments into whether there is foreign interference in U.S. elections. If interference is found, the DNI would have 45 days to assess who and report it to the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security, who would then have 45 days to assess whether or not to apply sanctions. The State Department and Treasury could decide to take additional measures.
“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 U.S. election,” Bolton said.