Russia

White House Signals Support for Bill on Russia Sanctions

7/23/17
from The Wall Street Journal,
7/22/17:

Legislation would curb Donald Trump’s power to remove sanctions but spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders says necessary changes have been made.

The White House supports legislation that would punish Russia for its interference in the 2016 election, a spokeswoman said Sunday, despite its previous objection to measures restricting the president’s power to remove sanctions on Moscow. Congressional negotiators reached a deal late Friday to advance the bill, previous versions of which White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders had said contained provisions that eroded the president’s power to conduct diplomacy. President Donald Trump has said he wants to improve America’s relationship with Russia and has been slow to embrace the conclusion of intelligence agencies that Moscow meddled in the election. But on Sunday, Ms. Sanders said on ABC’s “This Week” that necessary changes had been made to the legislation. “Look, the administration is supportive of being tough on Russia, particularly in putting these sanctions in place,” she said. “The original piece of legislation was poorly written but we were able to work with the House and Senate. ... And we support where the legislation is now.” Anthony Scaramucci, who on Friday was named White House communications director, was more cautious about the president’s direction while speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union.” Mr. Scaramucci said Mr. Trump “hasn’t made the decision yet to sign that bill,” but suggested he wasn’t sure what would would happen because it was his “second or third day on the job.” The White House didn’t immediately respond to a request to clarify. The House is slated to vote Tuesday on a package of sanctions against Russia, Iran and North Korea.

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