Last year, Congress almost unanimously supported new sanctions on Russia following allegations of meddling in U.S. elections. Today, those sanctions were due to be implemented.
The new sanctions were supposed to include a list of companies that were doing business with blacklisted Russian companies. Those companies would be sanctioned for doing so.
Trump had already expressed that he was not happy with the idea of new sanctions. He called the bipartisan legislation ‘seriously flawed.” Due to the overwhelming support in Congress, a veto would have been overridden so Trump declined to do so.
Today, the administration informed Congress that they would not be implementing the new sanctions.
A State Department spokeswoman, Heather Nauert, submitted a message to Congress reflecting the President’s position.
“Today, we have informed Congress that this legislation and its implementation are deterring Russian defense sales,” said the spokeswoman. “Since the enactment of the … legislation, we estimate that foreign governments have abandoned planned or announced purchases of several billion dollars in Russian defense acquisitions.”
“Given the long timeframes generally associated with major defense deals, the results of this effort are only beginning to become apparent,” Nauert said. “From that perspective, if the law is working, sanctions on specific entities or individuals will not need to be imposed because the legislation is, in fact, serving as a deterrent.”
Elana Schor, a congressional reporter for Politico, obtained the message that was sent to Congress.
The Trump admin has notified Congress that last year’s bipartisan Russia sanctions bill is serving as a “deterrent” and as such, specific sanctions aren’t needed at this time. From a State Dept spox: pic.twitter.com/rwkd6Vzh66
— Elana Schor (@eschor) January 29, 2018
At this time, it’s unclear how Congress will react to the White House refusing to cooperate.
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Here are some of the reactions on Twitter.
Many, including Scott Dworkin, believe this move should be considered treason.
Trump was supposed to implement Russian sanctions today. And didn't. Which I think should be considered treason.
— Scott Dworkin (@funder) January 30, 2018
Others, such as Evan McMullin, are pointing out that Trump remains subservient to Putin.
.@realDonaldTrump is refusing to implement new bipartisan Kremlin sanctions vital to protecting our democracy. In doing so, he’s chosen Putin’s interests over our own. Trump’s subservience to Moscow is real and a serious national security problem. https://t.co/1qK8Nure1I
— Evan McMullin (@Evan_McMullin) January 30, 2018
NEW Russia sanctions passed overwhelmingly on a bipartisan basis were supposed to be implemented starting TODAY.
The Trump admin is REFUSING TO IMPLEMENT them.
Again: Trump is refusing to UPHOLD THE LAW because it adversely impacts Putin and his cronies. https://t.co/TlZs2Z0SD6
— Leah FDT McElrath (@leahmcelrath) January 30, 2018
Putin is celebrating BIG time. Not only did the WH refuse, again, to implement Russia sanctions overwhelmingly put forward by Congress, House Republicans just voted to release a total bullshit memo to obstruct the Trump-Russia Investigation & risk work of our intel community.
— Adam Parkhomenko (@AdamParkhomenko) January 29, 2018
Trump defers to congressional Republicans on every issue except sanctions on Russia. https://t.co/eTwiAho4nY
— Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) January 29, 2018
Aaaaaaaaaand there it is, folks… Comrade Trump will not impose sanctions against Russia. https://t.co/n9h12kFfBE
— Jon Zal (@OfficialJonZal) January 29, 2018
The most common question remains- what does Putin have on Trump?
BREAKING: President Trump WILL NOT impose sanctions on Russia that were passed by Congress. What does Vladimir Putin have on him?
— David Cicilline (@davidcicilline) January 30, 2018
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