Trump to issue order allowing sanctions on foreigners meddling in U.S

US President Donald Trump speaks to the press before a meeting with Republican Congressional leaders at the White House in Washington DC

But critics said that Trump's move is not tough enough, and leaves him too much discretion, after the broad assault on the USA electoral process by Moscow two years ago.

However, the opposition Democrats were not satisfied with the executive order.

Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M Nielsen also said election security is national security and any attempt to interfere in the democratic institutions is unacceptable.

Both lawmakers previously proposed legislation that would impose mandatory sanctions on those who interfere in US elections, rather than directing various departments and agencies to go through a months-long process. "So I think this order is a further demonstration of that", he added.

At that same press conference, Trump blamed tensions between the United States and Russian Federation on special counsel Robert Mueller, whose investigation into Moscow's interference in the 2016 election is routinely slammed as a "witch hunt" by the president.

The move follows sustained criticism of the president for failing to take seriously threats to the United States electoral system from foreign actors.

CBS News confirmed Tuesday that the White House was preparing the executive order.

But, unlike a bipartisan bill now making its way through Congress, the order does not require Trump to issue stiff sanctions on such meddlers.

"President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today".

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While such powers already exist in the White House and US Treasury, Coats said the new order would set up an automatic and formal review, while giving Trump flexibility on what actions to take.

At their summit in Helsinki, Trump downplayed US intelligence assessments that Russian Federation was responsible for cyberattacks on Democrats ahead of the 2016 election.

"We felt it was important to demonstrate the president has taken command of this issue, that it's something he cares deeply about", Bolton said.

Coats said the new executive order is a response to Russia's actions in the 2016 election and "to make sure that doesn't happen again". "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. "While the administration has yet to share the full text, 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", Warner said.

That's according to sources, who exclusively told Reuters an executive order could be signed by President Donald Trump as early as Wednesday (September 12). Those departments would then determine whether to move ahead with sanctions.

Robert Mueller, a special counsel, has been looking into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 USA presidential election and any potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow, a claim that has been denied both by Moscow and Trump himself.

Coats listed Iran, North Korea and China as other countries that have the capability to launch attacks on elections.

"In regards to Russian involvement in the midterm elections, we continue to see a pervasive messaging campaign by Russia to try to weaken and divide the United States", Coats said in August.

"The White House has oversight".

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