It’s no secret that Donald Trump has wanted Vladimir Putin to be his “new best friend” since the Miss Universe Pageant in Moscow in 2013 (or even before that), but his actions during the 2016 campaign and his presidency show that he wants more than a friendship with the dictator — especially his most recent decision to immediately cancel new sanctions against Russia before they were even implemented.
On Friday, U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley announced that the Trump administration would soon be announcing additional sanctions against Russia. The White House maintains that Trump has been “consistent and tough” with Putin, but the only “consistent” part is Trump’s refusal to sanction his “best friend.”
“You will see that Russian sanctions will be coming down. Secretary Mnuchin will be announcing those on Monday, if he hasn’t already,” Halay said. “And they will go directly to any sort of companies that were dealing with equipment related to Assad and chemical weapons used. And so I think everyone is going to feel it at this point. I think everyone knows that we sent a strong message, and our hope is that they listen to it.”
However, White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley says that Trump hasn’t signed off on the announced sanctions.
“The administration is looking at sanctions on Russia, potentially some more sanctions, quite frankly, but we don’t have any announcement to make at this time,” Gidley says. “There is a chance that we do issue more sanctions. We just don’t have a decision yet from the administration.”
According to the Washington Post, “Trump conferred with his national security advisers later Sunday and told them he was upset the sanctions were being officially rolled out because he was not yet comfortable executing them.”
The White House says that sanctions are being considered, but that Trump doesn’t feel they are necessary at this time.