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Trump approves sanctions on foreigners for election meddling

President Trump signed an order Wednesday creating an mechanism that automatically slaps sanctions on foreign countries or people who interfere in U.S. elections.

The moves comes amid the U.S. intelligence community’s heightened alerts about potential cyberattacks on the midterm elections Nov. 6.

The sanctions would be triggered by attacks on election systems, political parties or distribution of propaganda, said National Security Adviser John Bolton, who briefed reporters on the executive order.

“We felt it was important to show the president has taken command of this issue, that it is something he cares deeply about, that the integrity of our elections [and] our constitutional process are a top priority,” Mr. Bolton said.

Mr. Trump has been faulted for downplaying Russian interference in the 2016 election. Then he was harshly criticized by Republicans and Democrats for accepting Russian President Vladimir Putin’s denials in July at a summit in Helsinki.

Mr. Bolton said the president had made clear his support for the U.S. intelligence agencies and their determination that Russia interfered in the 2016 election, as well as by imposing sanctions and other measure such as the executive order Wednesday.

“I think his actions speak for themselves,” he said.

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