The order will direct the intelligence community to assess if any foreign individual, entity or country has interfered in a USA election, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats told reporters at a conference call held at Wednesday noon.
The order, which comes just weeks ahead of November's midterm elections, will direct US intelligence agencies to investigate whether the election meddling took place. 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. "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. Check back for updates. "I think his actions speak for themselves".
Congress passed a financial sanctions bill against the Kremlin over a year ago and since January 2017, over 200 individuals and companies with connections to Russian Federation have been subjected to its penalties.
Some lawmakers expressed dissatisfaction with the new executive order.
Coats told reporters Wednesday the intelligence community has seen "signs" of interference attempts from China, Iran and North Korea.
Under the order, the government would punish intelligence community findings of foreign interference in US elections with penalties against culprits, as well as the threat of more penalties.
In response to the poisoning of a former Russian double agent and his daughter in the United Kingdom in March, the administration expelled Russian diplomats from the United States - a move, according to the unnamed White House official, that Trump was "reluctant" to make.
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio and Chris Van Hollen said in a joint statement on Wednesday that the newly-signed order "recognizes the threat, but does not go far enough to address it". "We want to ensure the American public that elections have not been manipulated, their vote has not been changed".
He said Mr. Trump has demonstrated that he won't stand up to Mr. Putin. Some lawmakers - including some Republicans as well as Democrats - have chafed at what they saw as the administration's reluctance to implement it. Trump signed the bill only after Congress passed it with huge majorities.
"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.
Bolton said criticism that Trump had been too deferential to Russia or blinkered in his view of Russian election interference played "zero" role in the new action. "This is an ongoing effort here, and it has been for a significant amount of time, and will continue on a, literally, 24-hour-a-day basis until the election".