President Trump moved Wednesday to deter foreign countries or people from meddling in US elections, creating a mechanism to automatically impose sanctions when intelligence agencies detect cyberattacks.
Bolton said that the executive order, entitled "Imposing Certain Sanctions in the Event of Foreign Interference in a United States Election", would "protect the USA against interference in our elections and the political process more broadly".
First the intelligence services will have 45 days to assess whether there has been an attempt to manipulate or influence a United States election.
Coats and other U.S. intelligence chiefs have said since the beginning of 2017 that Russian President Vladimir Putin presided over a concerted effort via hacking and social media manipulation to boost Trump's chances in 2016 to defeat Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.
The executive order comes six weeks after Bolton and other administration officials warned that Russian Federation and other governments continue to seek to influence US elections, including upcoming mid-terms in November.
With the midterm elections now two months away, National Intelligence Director Dan Coats said the United States is not currently seeing the intensity of Russian intervention that was experienced in 2016, but 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.More news: Putin says Russian Federation has identified Salisbury attack suspects
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"We have not seen the intensity of what happened in 2016 [but] it's only a keyboard click away so we are taking nothing for granted", he said.
US Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats speaks during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, DC, on August 2, 2018. It also describes a process for the Treasury and State departments to recommend appropriate, automatic sanctions. I think Department of Energy has made a clear statement of what his function there is, ' he said when asked by DailyMail.com about the high-level visit, the first since Trump's Helsinki Summit. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., would mandate tough sanctions on major sectors of the Russian economy, including finance, energy, and defense companies.
Bolton was joined on the call by Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, who outlined how the process of identifying interference and then imposing sanctions will work.
"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", Mr. Warner said.
USA intelligence agencies concluded in 2016 that Russian Federation was behind an effort to tip the scale of the U.S. election against Hillary Clinton, with a state-authorised campaign of cyber-attacks and fake news stories planted on social media. However, Bolton said the administration wanted to immediately address and create a mechanism for election security that would be quicker than legislation having to pass Congress.
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. Those backing the legislation say that under the bill, a nation would know exactly what it would face if caught.
He said: "This clearly is a process put in place to try and ensure we are doing every possible thing we can to prevent any interference in our election". He has cited US sanctions and the expulsion of alleged Russian spies from the U.S.