Donald Trump has signed the bill imposing sanctions on Russia for election interference. But he's not happy about it and looking for loopholes.
Donald Trump has reportedly signed the legislation passed in the House and Senate imposing sanctions on Russia for their interference in the 2016 presidential election. The bill also limits Trump’s ability to soften the impact of those sanctions. He has attached a “signing statement” to the bill, voicing concerns over the strict penalties it proscribes.
The signing statement reportedly says Trump is concerned that the bill “encroaches on presidential authority and may hurt U.S. ability to work with allies,” according to Bloomberg.
Further, while the statement doesn’t specify “any intent to bypass or circumvent aspects of the law,” it does give Trump “some room for interpretation of how the law is executed.”
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Trump was not “very happy about” the bill, because he wants to “restore the relationship” between the two countries, despite the overt Russian aggression and interference.
Trump’s approval of the bill comes only after intense pressure from Democrats and progressive activists around the country resulted in overwhelming, veto-proof majorities supporting it in Congress.
Trump has still refused to condemn Russia for their actions, and at every turn has rejected the findings of U.S. intelligence agencies that they employed hackers who broke into computers at the Democratic National Committee and distributed them with the goal of helping Trump’s campaign.
He has also still refused to publicly comment on Russia’s decision to oust American diplomats in retaliation for President Barack Obama’s actions, where property was confiscated and Russians expelled for their role in election meddling.
There were questions as to whether Trump would even sign the bill, as he still appears unwilling to back the American electoral system even when it is under attack from his Russian benefactors.
Trump has still failed to pass any major legislation reflecting his political priorities, like the repeal of health care reform or building a useless wall on the southern border with Mexico.