Trump hints at tougher Russia sanctions
The White House says it’s open to legislation toughening sanctions on Russia as momentum increased in the US Congress for stronger action against Moscow.
Two US senators said they believe the legislation that allows for new sanctions against Russia would pass with enough votes to override a veto should US President Donald Trump decide not to sign the bill.
Republicans and Democrats reached agreement allowing new sanctions targeting Russia, Iran and North Korea in a bill that would limit any potential effort by Trump to try to lift sanctions against Moscow.
“We support where the legislation is now and will continue working with the House and Senate to put those tough sanctions in place on Russia until the situation in Ukraine is fully resolved and it certainly isn’t right now,” White House press Secretary Sarah Sanders told ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos program on Sunday.
Many lawmakers hope the bill will send a message to Trump to keep a strong line against Russia.
In recent weeks, Trump administration officials have met with lawmakers to argue against parts of the Senate version of the bill, including the requirement that Trump obtain Congress’ permission before easing sanctions.
In Brussels, the European Union has sounded an alarm about the US moves to step up sanctions on Russia, urging Washington to coordinate with its Group of 7 partners.
The European Commission, the EU’s executive body, warned that there could be “wide and indiscriminate” unintended consequences, notably on the EU’s efforts to diversify energy sources away from Russia.
Anthony Scaramucci, Trump’s new communications director, said Trump has not yet decided whether he would sign the sanctions bill.
The House is set to vote on Tuesday, according to House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s office.