Washington, Sep 12 (PTI) US President Donald Trump is expected to sign an executive order on Wednesday that would authorise sanctions against countries or foreigners who try to interfere in American elections, according to a media report.
Bolton said the sanctions would be imposed not just for direct actions, such as hacking into election systems, but also for distribution of propaganda and disinformation.
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.
The executive order describes a process whereby the department of state and department of treasury will decide on appropriate sanctions to recommend and to impose on the countries or other actors that have engaged in this interference, he said.
Administration officials said the executive order sets up a framework for assessing interference, reporting it to the president and punishing it with sanctions. Check back for updates.
"I think it's going to be good", said Sean Kanuck, a former intelligence officer for cyber issues, now with the International Institute for Strategic Studies.
Congress already passed a Russian Federation sanctions bill a year ago, in one of Washington's most aggressive moves to punish Moscow.
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But the order received a lukewarm reception from bipartisan lawmakers pushing for a new sanctions law.
Coats warned last month that Russian efforts to undermine USA elections continue. "The United States can and must do more", they said in a statement.
"Today's announcement by the administration recognizes the threat, but does not go far enough to address it", they wrote in a joint statement. "We must make sure Vladimir Putin's Russian Federation, or any other foreign actor, understands that we will respond decisively and impose punishing consequences against those who interfere in our democracy". "We must make sure Vladimir Putin's Russian Federation, or any other foreign actor, understands that we will respond decisively and impose punishing consequences against those who interfere in our democracy". Marco Rubio, R-Florida and Chris Van Hollen, D-Maryland.
"The July Helsinki meeting between Trump and Putin has a visual effect that is searing and long lasting", said Laura Galante, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council who has previously worked with the US government. However, in a conference call, Dan Coats, Director of National Intelligence identified Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea having capabilities to do so.
The order, coming only eight weeks before congressional elections on November 6, drew immediate criticism from both Republican and Democratic lawmakers as too little, too late.
While not a fan of Mr. Trump, he said the issue was bigger than the occupant of the White House. "I have President Putin".
With "lessons learned" from the 2016 presidential election, Coats emphasized that the administration and intelligence community's focus moving forward would be on the upcoming midterms and the 2020 presidential election.
"This is an ongoing effort here, and it has been for a significant amount of time", he said.