Under fire over his handling of Russian election meddling, US President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday meant to strengthen election security by slapping sanctions on foreign countries or people who try to interfere in the US political process.
The order, coming only eight weeks before congressional elections on Nov. 6, drew immediate criticism from both Republican and Democratic lawmakers as too little, too late.
Trump signed the order behind closed doors with no reporters present, a rare departure from what has been his standard practice.
Sanctions could include freezing assets, restricting foreign exchange transactions, limiting access to US financial institutions, and prohibiting US citizens from investing in companies involved, national security adviser John Bolton told reporters.
Bolton said sanctions could be imposed during or after an election, based on the evidence gathered.