On Friday Russia retaliated against new sanctions imposed by legislation that will come to Trump’s desk to be signed. They ordered the United States to cut its diplomatic staff by September 1st and said it was seizing a dacha compound and warehouse used by U.S. diplomats. This retaliation comes after new U.S. sanctions were proposed in a bill against Moscow.
On Tuesday the House passed a sanctions bill against Russia 419-3, and on Thursday the Senate approved the measure 98-2.
The measure is one of the first major bipartisan pieces of legislation passed during Trump’s presidency, and it effectively ties the hands of the President when it comes to easing Russia sanctions.
The bill also includes new sanctions on Iran and North Korea and was a product of lengthy negotiations between the House and Senate that devolved into finger-pointing between the two parties and chambers several times before an agreement was finalized.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters that the President would review the sanctions bill. She did not say whether Trump would sign or veto the measure.
“We’ll review that and let you know what we do,” she told reporters Thursday night outside the White House.
Well, on Friday evening the White House reported the President will sign the bill imposing sanctions on Russia. According to the White House:
President Donald J. Trump read early drafts of the bill and negotiated regarding critical elements of it,” Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, said in a written statement released late in the evening. “He has now reviewed the final version and, based on its responsiveness to his negotiations, approves the bill and intends to sign it.”
In fairness, though he has no choice, if Trump vetoes the bill Congress will override him. However, the New York Times reported that the Administration did work with House Republicans to get their concern addressed.
The Russian retaliation, which was outlined in a statement from the Foreign Ministry, came just one day after the U.S. Senate voted to put new sanctions on Russia. This legislation will put President Trump in a tough situation. He will either have to take a hard line against Putin and his regime or veto the bill. If he vetoes the legislation, it will anger his GOP party.
Russia may not be done with retaliation. The Russian Foreign Ministry warned the United States it would respond in the same way if Washington decides to expel any more Russian diplomats.
You can watch the report on Russian retaliation in a Bloomberg news report below. We would like to see your comments about how the president should respond to the Senate legislation.