Amid recent reports of foreign breaches into U.S. government computer systems, questions have emerged whether hackers manipulated the results of the 2020 elections — and if so, whether that would trigger a White House executive order on responding to such an incursion.
The 2018 executive order from President Donald Trump addresses the specter similar to Monday’s revelation that Russian hackers had penetrated the Department of Homeland Security.
“Although there has been no evidence of a foreign power altering the outcome or vote tabulation in any United States election, foreign powers have historically sought to exploit America’s free and open political system,” Trump wrote in his 2018 order. “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.”