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Trump approves use of sanctions against foreigners meddling in US elections

John Bolton said the executive order will work to stem disinformation campaigns or any attempt to manipulate the outcome of ballots.

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President Donald Trump has come under pressure over Russian meddling in US elections (Susan Walsh/AP)

Donald Trump has signed an executive order authorising sanctions against foreigners who meddle in US elections.

The US president has drawn widespread criticism for not taking threats to the US electoral system seriously enough, particularly Russian interference in the 2016 presidential race.

National Security Adviser John Bolton and National Intelligence Director Dan Coats told reporters that the executive order is evidence the president is making election security a priority.

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National Security Adviser John Bolton said the US president took the security of elections very seriously (Andrew Harnik/AP)

Mr Bolton said the executive order will help stem disinformation campaigns or any attempt to manipulate the outcome of ballots.

Mr Coats said the US is not currently seeing the intensity of Russian intervention that was experienced in 2016, but did not rule it out in the future.

He said the US is also worried about the cyber activities of China, North Korea and Iran.

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President Donald Trump has come under pressure over Russian meddling in US elections (Susan Walsh/AP)
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National Security Adviser John Bolton said the US president took the security of elections very seriously (Andrew Harnik/AP)