White House says Trump is open to signing legislation on Russia sanctions: Report

On Sunday a White House official said the Trump administration supports "where the legislation is now"

Published July 23, 2017 6:42PM (EDT)

 (AP/Alex Brandon)
(AP/Alex Brandon)

After Senate and House leaders reached an agreement on a bill expected to impose harsher sanctions on Russia, the White House said on Sunday that President Donald Trump would be open to signing the legislation, according to Reuters.

Republicans and Democrats reached a deal for new sanctions to be placed on Russia, Iran and North Korea and "would limit any potential effort by Trump to try to lift sanctions against Moscow," Reuters reported. A White House official said the Trump administration "supports the direction the bill is headed, but won't weigh in conclusively until there is a final piece of legislation and no more changes are being made."

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy R-Calif., said that a vote is expected to take place in the House on Tuesday. The bill would punish Russia for the 2014 annexation of Crimea, as well as for the country's interference in the 2016 election, according to Reuters.

Officials in the Trump administration "have met with lawmakers to argue against parts of the Senate version of the bill, including the requirement that Trump obtain Congress' permission before easing sanctions," Reuters reported. However, even if Trump decided that he doesn't want to sign the bill, two Senators stated that they were confident the legislation would pass with enough votes to override the president's veto, Reuters reported.

"I think [it] will pass probably overwhelmingly again in the Senate and with a veto-proof majority," Sen. John Thune R-S.D., said, according to Reuters.

Though administration officials have said the president is open to signing the legislation, he has not given a commitment, and has instead continued efforts to delegitimize the ongoing Russia investigation. "As the phony Russian witch Hunt continues, two groups are laughing at this excuse for a lost election taking hold, Democrats and Russians!" Trump tweeted on Sunday afternoon. Jay Sekulow, a member of Trump's legal team, also said on Sunday that "pardons have not been discussed and are not on the table."

He also slammed Republicans who he claims, have not done enough to protect him.






By Charlie May

MORE FROM Charlie May