With nearly unanimous votes in support of sanctions against Russia, both the House and Senate are offering Donald Trump a chance to prove his patriotism — and to show with which country it truly resides.
The United States Congress has a message for Donald Trump: Are you with us, or with Russia?
After reaching a deal to proceed with bipartisan legislation on sanctions against Russia, in response to the foreign adversary’s interference in our election, the House of Representatives passed the bill Tuesday with overwhelming support, 419 to 3.
The bill, which includes sanctions against Iran and North Korea as well, puts strict limits on Trump’s ability to waive or override the measures, in direct contradiction to the White House’s demands.
Coupled with the Senate’s bill, which passed in June by a vote of 98 to 2, that comes to 517 voices daring Trump to stand with his own country, or to blatantly take sides with Russian President Vladimir Putin instead.
Trump has been characteristically flighty about whether or not he would sign the bill, as his administration’s messaging has shown.
Sunday, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told ABC’s George Stephanopoulous that Trump “[supports] where the legislation is now and will continue working with the House and Senate” on sanctions. But that same day, incoming communications director Anthony Scaramucci told CNN that Trump has not yet made up his mind, but that “he’s going to make that decision shortly.”
And Monday, Sanders dialed back her previous comments, saying that Trump would need to “study that legislation and see what the final product looks like.”
Now he will be able to engage in that review, and to make a decision about which nation has his loyalty — a subject of great interest to Trump when it comes to his own team.
But with the special counsel’s investigation into his campaign’s possible collusion with Russia’s interference closing in, and his son-in-law’s tepid denial of guilt, Trump ought to realize that vetoing this bill would send the clearest message yet to the American people: That he cares more about protecting Putin’s power than safeguarding his own country’s democracy.