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White House pushing Republicans in the House to relax new Russia sanctions

The Senate overwhelmingly passed new sanctions against Russia, and now the Trump administration is pushing back


Taylor Link
June 17, 2017 9:34PM (UTC)

The White House is seeking to influence some GOP House members to ease up on the Senate-passed Russia sanctions, hoping that the lower chamber will provide "administration-friendly" changes, according to Politico.

The Senate voted Wednesday, 97-2, to pass a measure that would toughen sanctions on Russia and would prevent the White House from unilaterally removing the sanctions imposed by his predecessor, former President Barack Obama in 2014 and 2016.

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“I’m concerned about it, but I don’t really have the ability to dictate what the White House says to the House,” Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) told Politico in an interview. “I can’t imagine the House would want to be apologists for Russian behavior after the combined weight of the intelligence communities all weighing in saying, ‘Look, they attacked the United States’.”

Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown, one of the Senate bill's cosponsors, told reporters on Wednesday that the White House was already lobbying against the measure, Business Insider reported.

"I know that some people in the White House are pushing back," Brown said. "People in the White House, we hear, are making calls in the House to try to stop it, slow it, weaken it, dilute it."

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Saturday that the new sanctions would "of course complicate the Russian-American relationship," according to ABC News.

An unlikely pundit noted Saturday that hacking Democrats emails complicated the Russian-American relationship.

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Earlier this month, Yahoo News reported that the Trump administration secretly tried to eliminate Russia's economic sanctions. Dan Fried, who retired in February as coordinator for sanctions policy at the State Department, told Yahoo News that there was "serious consideration" by the Trump White House to "unilaterally rescind the sanctions."


Taylor Link

Taylor Link is an assistant editor at Salon. You can find him on Twitter at @taylorlink_

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