Ex-NSA chief wishes Trump had pressed Putin on Russian election attacks

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President Trump signed an executive order early Wednesday to deter meddling into US election by foreign entities ahead of the 2018 mid-terms and the 2020 presidential election.

It also authorizes sanctions for engaging in covert, fraudulent or deceptive activities, such as distributing disinformation or propaganda, to influence or undermine confidence in US elections.

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said this will be a 24-hour-a-day effort until election day.

After the reports are complete, the Treasury and State Departments would decide on appropriate sanctions to impose on the potential actors or countries.

Congress has been purposefully left out of the executive order drafting process, the official said, because the administration wants to preempt legislation being considered in the House and Senate that addresses similar issues. Check back for updates.

During a press conference with the Russian leader, Trump undermined the U.S. intelligence community's universal conclusion that Russia had made attempts to attack the 2016 USA presidential election, through digital interference and other methods.

Under the order, the intelligence community would have 45 days to determine whether meddling occurred.

"We have not seen the intensity of what happened in 2016, but it's only a keyboard click away". He said he was in talks with lawmakers about possible legislation.

"Unfortunately, President Trump demonstrated in Helsinki and elsewhere that he simply can not be counted upon to stand up to Putin when it matters", Warner said.

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But aides have said that Trump's anger at what he views as a questioning of his surprise election victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton colors his view of the threat to future elections, and slowed down the administration's planning for this year's congressional election.

Both Republicans and Democrats criticized the move as insufficient, however.

Trump has pushed back, saying that no other American president has been as tough on Russian Federation.

The sanctions themselves range from blocked assets, export licenses, access to banking and lending, credit transfers, or US investors, according to Bolton. Russian Federation denies meddling and Trump has dismissed the probe as a "witch hunt".

"I thought there was an opportunity there that I wish we would have taken advantage of", the retired rear admiral told a think tank in Virginia.

"Sir, this isn't about politics, it isn't about party, it's about a foreign state that is attempting to subvert the very tenets of our structure", he recalled saying to POTUS. But these sanctions have apparently not deterred the Russian government and other countries with an adversarial relationship with the USA from maneuvering to affect the outcome of some 2018 congressional races, according to Coates.

Rogers also said, according to the Daily Beast, that as part of his role he would give Trump briefings on Russian hacking.

"The Russians are still at it". "One of the things that really disturbs me is - that for whatever reason, I don't know what it is - the president's failure to dime out Putin and dime out the Russians for what they are doing".

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