WASHINGTON, August 9. /TASS/. The White House plans to impose sanctions over foreign interference in US elections, The Washington Post said.
According to the newspaper, "the White House is drafting an executive order that would authorize President Trump to sanction foreigners who interfere in US elections, the administration’s latest effort to demonstrate it is serious about combating Russian disinformation and hacking."
The Washington Post added that the US president would have the right to impose sanctions on ten "of the 30 largest business entities in a country whose government has interfered in an election." However, "there has been no evidence of a foreign power altering a single vote in a United States election," the newspaper wrote, citing the draft.
"The draft order creates a category of offense election interference, which includes "Internet-based disinformation efforts" for which biting sanctions can be imposed. But the most pain-inducing sanctions are discretionary. The only mandatory sanctions would be against individuals found to have taken part in an interference campaign against a US election," the daily added.
"The document is a draft and that it could change," The Washington Post said, citing a White House official.
The FBI and the intelligence committees of the US Senate and House of Representatives have been pursuing a probe into Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 US presidential election led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. In connection with the investigation, which has been going on for more than a year, charges have been brought against several Russian citizens, as well as against five Americans and one Dutch national. On July 13, US Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced charges against another 12 individuals who were said to be Russian intelligence officers.
US President Donald Trump and the key members of his team have been repeatedly rejecting all the accusations concerning collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Moscow has also been refuting these allegations. On July 16, Russian President Vladimir Putin reiterated at a joint press conference with his US counterpart Donald Trump that Moscow had not meddled in election processes in the United States and was ready to cooperate with Washington within a joint working group on cyber security.