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Trump signs executive order to allow sanctions for US election meddling

File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )

WION Web Team Washington, DC, USA Sep 12, 2018, 11.02 PM (IST)

US President  Trump today signed an executive order allowing punitive sanctions on foreigners who interfere in US elections.

Also Read: Senate committee investigating Russia meddling requests Assange to appear for probe

The sanctions would include freezing assets, limiting access to US financial institutions, and prohibiting US citizens from investing in companies involved in the meddling.

"We have seen signs of not just Russia, but from China, and capabilities potentially from Iran, and even North Korea," interfering in the run-up to the November 6 congressional elections, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said, announcing the new order.

US national security adviser John Bolton said the Departments of State and Treasury would decide on appropriate sanctions.

US intelligence agencies had alleged that Russian hackers had tried to help Trump win the US elections in 2016, an allegation Russia flatly denies.

Putin had said that patriotic Russian hackers may have staged cyber attacks against countries that had strained relations with Moscow but denied state intervention.

Trump's order comes just months after he met Russian president Putin in the Finnish capital Helsinki where the US president had brought up the Russian meddling issue which was denied by Putin.

Last week Trump had said he was open to sitting down with investigators probing possible collusion between his election campaign and Russia "under certain circumstances," but did not want to get caught in a "perjury trap."