Hale: The president’s statements made clear he did not want to sign the Russian sanctions bill

PONARS Eurasia
03 Aug 2017

(VOA) WHITE HOUSE — U.S. President Donald Trump has signed into law a sanctions bill he declared is “significantly flawed,” with “clearly unconstitutional provisions.”

The bill, aimed at penalizing Moscow for its interference in last year’s U.S. election, imposes fresh sanctions on Russia as well as Iran and North Korea. It also restricts the president’s authority to lift the sanctions without consulting Congress. [...]

The president’s statements made clear he did not want to sign the bill, George Washington University Associate Professor Henry Hale told VOA.

“The last thing Trump needs now politically is another embarrassing legislative defeat, so signing the bill with reservations lets him claim it as a victory, even as he prepares to work against key provisions of the bill, in implementation or through the courts,” said Hale, who directs the Program on New Approaches to Research and Security in Eurasia. PONARS Eurasia, based at the George Washington University, is a network of over 100 academic figures, primarily from North America and post-Soviet Eurasia. [...]

Professor Hale of GWU noted that Trump’s statements about the bill Wednesday appeared to be “particularly carefully worded” to avoid calling Russia an “adversary” of the United States, as is explicitly stated in the legislation.

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