Trump administration reaffirms election integrity

Voter filling out ballot at end of line of voting booths (© John Minchillo/AP Images)
(© John Minchillo/AP Images)

The U.S. will not tolerate foreign interference in its elections. That’s the message in President Trump’s recent executive order and reaffirmed by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

“Elections are the foundation of our democracy, and preserving their integrity is a matter of protecting sovereignty and American national security,” Pompeo said September 14.

The new order (EO 13848) authorizes mandatory sanctions on foreign individuals or governments who interfere in U.S. elections and sow disinformation in the media and online.

“Those who interfere with our liberties will pay a price,” Pompeo said.

The president’s executive order notes: “Although there has been no evidence of a foreign power altering the outcome or vote tabulation in any United States election, foreign powers have historically sought to exploit America’s free and open political system.” (Learn the difference between presidents’ executive orders and memos.)

Pompeo singled out Russia as “particularly aggressive” over the last few years “in using its cyber capabilities, disinformation and other covert means to attempt to sow instability in America.”

“If Russia or any other foreign government or persons acting on their behalf interfere in a United States election, there will be swift and severe consequences,” Pompeo said. “We’re going to come after them.”

Pompeo said the U.S. Department of State will continue to work “with our partners around the world to stand against these threats against democracy wherever and however they rear their head.”