Congress Just Tricked Trump In A Major Way, Forced Him To Impose Sanctions On Russia


It looks like Donald Trump’s going to have some ‘splaining to do the next time he’s on the phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin. That’s because, on Friday, Trump signed a new budget bill that also included a surprise provision which imposes the harshest economic sanctions on Russia since he’s been in office.

It appears that a currently anonymous member of Congress managed to sneak the five-page sanction provision into the massive 2,232-page spending bill without setting off alarms (yay bureaucracy).  The best part is that Trump had little choice but to sign the bill. That’s because the sanctions were initially passed by the Senate with a veto-proof majority vote of 98-2 and then passed once again with the inclusion of sanctions against North Korea by Congress at a margin of 419-3; thus officially castrating the hollow threat Trump made earlier in which he implied he was prepared to veto the bill.

The sanctions are in response to Russian’s alleged involvement in the assassination of an ex-Russian spy on British soil.

Prior to signing the bill, Trump grumbled calling the legislation “seriously flawed.”

 “The bill remains seriously flawed — particularly because it encroaches on the executive branch’s authority to negotiate.”
“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 said in a statement.

Shortly after 11 a.m. ET, the White House announced that Trump signed the bill, but stated that it 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.”

In response, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev issued an ominous statement claiming that the bill’s signing signified “fully-fledged trade war (has been) declared against Russia” and that “the Trump administration demonstrated complete impotence, in the most humiliating manner, transferring executive powers to Congress.”

Before Trump’s pen even touched the bill, Putin was reportedly ready to impose counter-measures against the U.S.

On Wednesday, Russia’s Foreign Ministry announced that it “reserves the right to other countermeasures” in response to the “regrettable,” “short-sighted,” and “dangerous” new sanctions imposed upon them by the U.S.

“Those [sanctions] were a good first step. But I do think that these newer sanctions hopefully put a little more bite to it. And frankly I think that’s a good thing,” Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) told The Daily Beast. “The Russians are guilty of bad behavior all over the world. And so we shouldn’t be doing anything to encourage or condone that.”

Meanwhile, Trump fumed that Congress cornered him into a “ridiculous situation” and vowed:

“I will never sign another bill like this again — I’m not going to do it again.”

Oh, grasshopper you have so much to learn and so long to go.

Featured image via Pool / Pool Getty Images.

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