Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats would turn over any significant findings of interference to the attorney general and the secretary of Homeland Security.
Rogers also talked about his decision not to sign the letter from hundreds of former national security officials protesting Trump's decision to take away former CIA Director John Brennan's security clearance.
To view the full article, register now.
Part of the order includes declaring a "national emergency" that will allow sanctions to move forward. Intelligence agencies would have 45 days to make an assessment. "If they determine and find anything that reflects interference with our election, they will then report that and automatic sanctions will take place", Coats said.
A wide variety of additional sanctions could be imposed under certain conditions.
Coates said that the administration acknowledges that there was interference in the 2016 election, and "we've learned our lessons".
USA lawmakers have introduced various pieces of Russia-related legislation, including the "Deter Act", to set out punishments for election meddling, and what one lawmaker called a sanctions bill "from hell" to punish Moscow for cyber crime and its activities in Syria, Ukraine and elsewhere.
Still, some action on election interference had been anticipated.
That this announcement came first as a leak to United States news outlets and then as an announcement from National Security Advisor John Bolton underlines how fraught a subject it is for this particular White House. Punishments could include blocking transactions, limiting license exports, limiting access to USA financial institutions and barring US citizens from investing in companies from violating countries.
"When it comes to foreign policy, my administration has delivered decisively and taken action where previous administrations have not", Trump said.
"These are very sensitive, very unsafe operations". "We each possess information the other does not have, and the combined information is more powerful in combating these threats".
But, unlike a bipartisan bill now making its way through Congress, the order does not require Trump to issue stiff sanctions on such meddlers. Instead, it depends on implementation and is structured a bit like the DETER bill (Defending Elections from Threats by Establishing Redlines Act of 2018) which was introduced by the Senators Marco Rubio, R-Florida, and Chris Van Hollen, D-Maryland, earlier this year.
Congress passed a financial sanctions bill against the Kremlin over a year ago and since January 2017, over 200 individuals and companies with connections to Russian Federation have been subjected to its penalties.
"Basically it's a further effort among several that the administration has made to protect the United States against foreign interference in our elections, and really our political process more broadly", Bolton said.
The order also ensures that "law enforcement work under the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice", he added.
He said he has spoken to members of Congress in recent weeks but indicated that time is a factor.
"You never know how long legislation will take", he said. He said he was in talks with lawmakers about possible legislation.
But critics said that Trump's move is not tough enough, and leaves him too much discretion, after the broad assault on the United States electoral process by Moscow two years ago.