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Trump executive order calls for sanctions in the event of future election interference

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President Donald Trump yesterday issued an executive order that sets forth a federal plan of action in the event of foreign interference in a U.S. election, including sanctions that can be imposed on overseas organizations and individuals.

The declaration is arguably a response to wide-ranging criticism that the president has repeatedly dismissed evidence of Russian influence in the 2016 elections and failed to act sufficiently in light of threats to future elections.

The order tasks the Director of National Intelligence with assessing intelligence that suggests a foreign actor has attempted to influence an election result, whether by altering vote counts, targeting election infrastructure or spreading disinformation. The Attorney General and Secretary of Homeland Security would then review this assessment and issue their own reports.

In response to these evaluations, the Treasury Secretary could then impose sanctions on the offenders, the order continues. He and the Secretary of State can also recommend to the president whether additional sanctions are warranted, including punitive measures against "the largest business entities licensed or domiciled in a country whose government authorized, directed, sponsored or supported election interference, including at least one entity from... financial services, defense energy, technology and transportation..."

Sanctions could include the blocking of financial transactions, export license restrictions, prohibitions on loans from U.S. financial institutions, the expulsion of corporate offices located in the U.S. and more.

Bradley Barth

As director of multimedia content strategy at CyberRisk Alliance, Bradley Barth develops content for online conferences, webcasts, podcasts video/multimedia projects — often serving as moderator or host. For nearly six years, he wrote and reported for SC Media as deputy editor and, before that, senior reporter. He was previously a program executive with the tech-focused PR firm Voxus. Past journalistic experience includes stints as business editor at Executive Technology, a staff writer at New York Sportscene and a freelance journalist covering travel and entertainment. In his spare time, Bradley also writes screenplays.

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