Edited from a Press Release

Charleston, W.Va. – Just a day after U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen told West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner and other Secretaries of State attending the National Election Security Summit in St. Louis, Missouri the Trump administration was serious about protecting state elections, President Donald Trump did just that.


On Wednesday, the President signed an Executive Order (Attached) to respond to and deter foreign attempts to interfere in state elections.


“Wednesday’s Executive Order demonstrates the President’s commitment to protecting our elections against foreign entities attempting to hack our elections and reduce confidence in our democratic process,” Secretary Warner said. “I applaud the effort and his support for state and local election officials.”


Warner said that Trump administration officials are working closely and frequently with Secretaries of State all over the country to communicate effectively.  Warner was one of a number of State Secretaries who was given advance notice of the President’s Executive Order via phone conference with the White House on Wednesday.


“The President and the Department of Homeland Security have made it very clear that we are all in this together.  Protecting elections really is a matter of national security,” Warner said.  “I asked the first question about potential sanctions in the case of further election meddling, and the White House responded that they are looking at an array of options, while also seeking our input for more ideas.  It’s a welcome change to have an open dialogue with top U.S. officials and the Department of Homeland Security with regard to elections as Critical Infrastructure.”


According to a statement issued by the White House, President Trump is directing his Administration to develop a process, in coordination with state and local election officials, for assessing and determining if interference in a United States election occurred.  The Executive Order authorizes action against those entities determined to have interfered in a United States election.


The White House told election officials that the President’s Executive Order builds on the White House’s effort “to expose, dispose and impose costs or sanctions on those responsible for election interference.”