Trump may be violating his own election-tampering order: national security expert
American President Donald Trump and Russia President Vladimir Putin at the Helsinki summit. (Kremlin photo.)

A national security expert explained Monday why Donald Trump may be violating his own election-tampering executive order that was created after accusations that Russia meddled in American elections.

Independent national security journalist Marcy Wheeler noted Monday that an exchange between Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and members of the Senate's Intelligence Committee showed the DNI attempting to evade the requirements of his boss' order.

Committee member Martin Heinrich (D-NM) pressed Coats during the Worldwide Threat Assessment hearing last week, Wheeler noted, as to why the intelligence community had yet to release a statement on Russia's reported election tampering during the 2018 midterms.

"Your office issued a statement recently announcing that you had submitted the intelligence community’s report assessing the threats to the 2018 mid-term elections to the President and to appropriate Executive Agencies," Heinrich said, "Our committee has not seen this report."

Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), the chairman of the committee, noted that he and Vice Chairman Mark Warner (D-VA) both had been briefed on the report — and DNI Coats also pointed it out.

Coats also mentioned two 45-day deadlines that the intelligence community complied with. Those deadlines, Wheeler noted, were required in Trump's order on election tampering — and are due today.

"Today is — by my count — the end of that second 45 day period (or 90 days total from the end of the election)," she wrote. "So Trump’s Administration should be deciding today whether — just as one example — the Russian attempt to hack Claire McCaskill was more successful than she apparently knew and whether, according to his own Executive Order, Trump now has to impose sanctions on Russia for trying."

Wheeler added that the Intelligence Committee's own report "actually envisioned Russia attempting to manipulate data, which might explain the sensitivity around this report."

In its report, the committee said that "Russia’s social media efforts will continue to focus on aggravating social and racial tensions, undermining trust in authorities, and criticizing perceived anti-Russia politicians."

"Trump’s Administration knows the Russians tried to help him again in the mid-term elections," Wheeler posited, "but doesn’t want to do what they’ve promised to do in response."