The White House announced late Wednesday morning that President Trump has signed a new sanctions bill against Russia which will severely limit his own ability to provide any relief in easing of the sanctions in the future.
The bill had passed both the House and the Senate in a remarkable show of bipartisan support. President Trump said he signed it, even though he doesn’t fully agree with it, in a gesture of solidarity with Congress against Russia’s actions.
Trump described the bill as “significantly flawed” and said it contained a “number of clearly unconstitutional provisions” that will “displace the president’s exclusive constitutional authority to recognize foreign governments.”
“My administration particularly expects the Congress to refrain from using this flawed bill to hinder our important work with European allies to resolve the conflict in Ukraine, and from using it to hinder our efforts to address any unintended consequences it may have for American businesses, our friends, or our allies,” he stated.
The Hill reported that the sanctions bill applies financial penalties against Moscow over its incursion in Ukraine and for interfering in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
However, the Trump administration is reportedly considering returning the two compounds to Russia which the Obama administration seized last year. The new law would limit the president’s authority to return the compounds, subject to a 30-day review period by Congress.
The sanctions bill also applies to North Korea’s shipping industry, nations that use slave labor, and includes penalties against Iran over its ballistic missiles program.
Senate Foreign Relations chairman Bob Corker said he spoke to the president about the bill in an effort to lessen his concerns. “I’ve walked the president through the process of how congressional review works,” Corker said. “The administration knowing that — unless it’s way out of bounds, — likely, they have the flexibility to do what they need to do.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin has already acted in harsh retaliation to the sanctions bill, even before President Trump signed it.
On Sunday, Putin followed through on a threat issued earlier, ordering 755 U.S. diplomats to leave the country.
BREAKING: Trump says Russia sanctions law he signed is ‘significantly flawed’ pic.twitter.com/hCxpJbskR7
— Reuters Politics (@ReutersPolitics) August 2, 2017
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