Even while caving on sanctions, Trump refuses to condemn Russia
The dare from Congress paid off: Donald Trump will sign the bill imposing strict new sanctions against Russia — though with no hint of condemnation against the foreign adversary or even a mention of why the sanctions were sorely needed.
The near-unanimity in Congress on the need for tough sanctions against Russia was too much for even Donald Trump to ignore.
In another humiliating rebuke, Trump caved to pressure from the House and Senate and will sign the sanctions bill that Democrats and Republicans worked together to put forth.
But the statement released by the White House was notably thin on specifics, with zero condemnation of Russia for their interference in our election and no explanation of why these sanctions are needed.
Instead, the two-sentence statement typically put Trump in the spotlight, focusing on the “responsiveness to his negotiations” as the reason for his acceptance of the bill.
— Sean Spicer (@PressSec) July 29, 2017
Trump’s blatant need to continue to cast himself as the dealmaker-in-chief is more laughable than usual, coming as it does after the utter failure of the GOP’s health care repeal bill just one day prior.
Trump continued Saturday morning to rant and rail against everyone and everything for that defeat — everyone, that is, except himself.
But even he apparently realized that vetoing the sanctions bill — in the midst of the special counsel’s continuing and deepening investigations in the Trump campaign’s ties to and possible collusion with Russia — would not be a good look.
As the New York Times noted, “Had Mr. Trump vetoed the legislation, he faced the politically embarrassing prospect of being overridden by a Congress controlled by his own party on a measure to penalize Moscow at the same time his associates are being investigated for their contacts with Russia.”
Russia has already lashed out in response to the impending signing, “seizing two American diplomatic properties in Russia and ordering the United States Embassy to reduce staff by September” — adding further evidence that the sanctions were indeed necessary.
Over six months into his presidency, Trump’s sole major piece of legislation will be a bill that he opposed and which drastically limits the power he demanded, and which issues a stern rebuke to his buddy, Russian President Vladimir Putin.
It’s the ultimate humiliation for Trump — and it will have his signature emblazoned upon it.