In a move that would’ve made The Wire’s Stringer Bell proud, Congress effectively played the president and left him with no choice: either sign the sanctions against Russia bill, or look like you’re in bed with Russia. And get this, the bill even prevents the president from single handily easing the sanctions, because Congress doesn’t trust his ass.
On Wednesday, the president relented and reluctantly signed the bill, “one of the first major pieces of legislation that was sent to Trump’s desk, and it represents a rebuke of the President by giving Congress new veto power to block him from removing Russia sanctions,” CNN reports.
The bill, which had been on the president desk for almost a week, was signed shortly after 11 a.m. but not before the White House could point out that the sanctions included “a number of clearly unconstitutional provisions” that “purport to displace the President’s exclusive constitutional authority to recognize foreign governments, including their territorial bounds.”
Trump also noted in a statement seen by CNN that the bill is “seriously flawed” and he signed it anyway because he had no choice. The bill was essentially a complete show of no faith in the president to deal with Russia accordingly.
“Still, the bill remains seriously flawed — particularly because it encroaches on the executive branch’s authority to negotiate,” Trump said in the statement viewed by CNN.
“Congress could not even negotiate a health care bill after seven years of talking. By limiting the executive’s flexibility, this bill makes it harder for the United States to strike good deals for the American people, and will drive China, Russia, and North Korea much closer together.”
He ended the statement by saying: “I built a truly great company worth many billions of dollars. That is a big part of the reason I was elected. As President, I can make far better deals with foreign countries than Congress.
Because Russian president Vladimir Putin knows how the game is played, as soon as he got word that sanctions agains Moscow were in play, he didn’t wait for Trump to sign the bill before he retaliated against the U.S. by ordering some 755 employees out of Russia, as well as seizing two US diplomatic properties, CNN reports.
The news station notes that the new sanctions bill “hits Russia’s energy and defense sectors, and also includes fresh sanctions against Iran and North Korea.”
Read more at CNN.