Kellyanne Conway says President Trump may be removing sanctions on Russia

The president's counselor is setting us up for the possibility that he will revoke the sanctions against Russia

By Matthew Rozsa

Published January 27, 2017 3:22PM (EST)


President Donald Trump is considering lifting the sanctions imposed against Russia by former President Barack Obama for that nation's alleged hacking of the 2016 presidential election, at least according to a Friday morning appearance on "Fox & Friends" by Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway.

"All of that is under consideration," said Conway when asked about Obama's sanctions against Russia. "And certainly in addition to improving relations with different foreign leaders and other nations around the globe."

She later added, "And if another nation which has considerable resources wishes to join together with the United States of America to try to defeat and eradicate radical Islamic terrorism, then we're listening."

Trump's cozy relationship with Russia — which ranges from his extensive business ties to that country and his choice of numerous advisers with Russian connections to his seeming encouragement of Russia to hack Hillary Clinton's emails — has raised concerns about whether he would maintain the sanctions imposed by Obama during the outgoing days of his presidency. These concerns were heightened last month when Trump praised Russian dictator Vladimir Putin as "very smart" for refusing to retaliate to Obama's sanctions, presumably because the strongman is hoping to get a better deal under a Trump administration.

Trump's national security adviser, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, has been reportedly under investigation for allegedly contacting Russia on the day of Obama's sanctions.

Conway has also been defending another controversial Trump twist on American bilateral relations, this time regarding his controversial border wall with Mexico.

"We just have to stop having people and drugs pour over the border," Conway told "CBS This Morning" on Friday. "We are a sovereign nation that spends billions of dollars trying to help other countries protect its borders. It's high time we do the same for America."

When asked why Mexico should pay for a wall they don't want, Conway replied that "Well, they don't want it, Gail, because they want to continue to allow people and I assume drugs — since they're not doing much to stop that — pouring over our borders. We have to look at America. Mexico should pay for that wall because they get an awful lot from this country through NAFTA and through other monetary dispersements. They got a ton of money from us, $60 billion trade deficit as the president noted."

After it was pointed out that Mexico recently handed over "El Chapo," one of the biggest drug dealers alive today, Conway dismissed it as "one small step."

Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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Border Wall Donald Trump Kellyanne Conway Russian Hack Russian Sanctions Us-mexico Wall Video