By Jack Phillips
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters Tuesday that she is not aware of any report issued by Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe’s office about foreign interference.
“I am not aware of any report that he has received” on that, she said, responding to a question from The Epoch Times.
Some have wondered whether Ratcliffe will provide a report on potential election interference on behalf of a foreign government, as outlined in a 2018 executive order signed by President Donald Trump.
According to the order that Trump signed, “Not later than 45 days after the conclusion of a United States election, the Director of National Intelligence, in consultation with the heads of any other appropriate executive departments and agencies (agencies), shall conduct an assessment of any information indicating that a foreign government, or any person acting as an agent of or on behalf of a foreign government, has acted with the intent or purpose of interfering in that election.”
The order also allows for the imposition of “any recommended sanctions” against foreign entities or others that are believed to have interfered in the election.
These sanctions could include “blocking and prohibiting all transactions in a person’s property and interests in property subject to United States jurisdiction,” “exclusion of a person’s alien corporate officers from the United States,” and “any other measures authorized by law,” among other provisions, according to the order.
But since it was signed, there has been little mention of it until recently. Sidney Powell, who filed election-related lawsuits in favor of Trump, told The Epoch Times earlier this week that Trump could use the order.
She explained that it could give Trump “all kinds of power … to do everything from seize assets to freeze things, demand the impoundment of the machines,” referring to voting machines.
Meanwhile, Russell Ramsland, who authored a forensic report (pdf) on voting systems in Michigan Antrim County, suggested Trump should implement provisions in the 2018 order after declaring the machines a “national security issue.” Dominion Voting Systems and the Michigan Secretary of State’s office have both disputed Ramsland’s report.
The 2018 Trump order further added: “In recent years, the proliferation of digital devices and internet-based communications has created significant vulnerabilities and magnified the scope and intensity of the threat of foreign interference, as illustrated in the 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment. I hereby declare a national emergency to deal with this threat.”
Earlier this month, Ratcliffe told Fox Business that election-related lawsuits and other issues need to be resolved before the Nov. 3 presidential election victor can be declared.
“Essentially, we had universal mail-in balloting across this country in a way we hadn’t seen before, and to that point, almost 73 percent of the American people this year voted before Election Day, a good percentage of those by mail,” he said.
“That’s about an 80 percent increase over anything we’ve ever seen before, so it’s little wonder that we see what’s happening around the country as a result of that, with mail-in balloting and all of the questions—and the questions that are being raised in lawsuits and by everyday Americans about what happened in the election,” Ratcliffe said.
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