White House: Trump Supports Sweeping Russia Sanctions

Press secretary indicates he will sign the measure
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 24, 2017 2:29 AM CDT
President Donald Trump speaks during the commissioning ceremony of the aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) at Naval Station Norfolk, Va., Saturday, July, 22, 2017.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

(Newser) – The White House has indicated that President Donald Trump would sign a sweeping Russia sanctions measure that requires him to get Congress' permission before lifting or easing the economic penalties against Moscow, the AP reports. The House was scheduled to consider the sanctions package as early as Tuesday, and the bill could be sent to Trump before Congress breaks for the August recess. The legislation is aimed at punishing Moscow for meddling in the presidential election and its military aggression in Ukraine and Syria. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the newly appointed White House press secretary, said Sunday that the administration is supportive of being tough on Russia and "particularly putting these sanctions in place." "We support where the legislation is now, and will continue to work with the House and Senate to put those tough sanctions in place on Russia until the situation in Ukraine is fully resolved," Sanders said on ABC's This Week.

Congressional Republicans and Democrats announced Saturday that they'd settled lingering issues with the bill, which also includes stiff economic penalties against Iran and North Korea. The sanctions targeting Russia, however, have drawn the most attention due to Trump's persistent push for warmer relations with President Vladimir Putin and ongoing investigations into Russia's interference in the 2016 campaign. The White House had objected to a key section of the bill that would have mandated a congressional review if Trump attempted to terminate the sanctions against Moscow. Top administration officials said the provisions infringed on the president's executive authority and tied his hands as he explores avenues of cooperation between the two former Cold War foes. But Sanders said the White House was able to work with the House and Senate to "make those changes that were necessary." She didn't specify what those changes were, however. The congressional review section wasn't altered substantially and Democrats were satisfied with the results. (Read more President Trump stories.)

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