Trump Signs Russia Sanctions Bill, Slams It As "Flawed"

After several days of delays, which prompted speculation among politicians and the media why the White House is dragging its feet on the issue and was the topic of several questions during Rex Tillerson's Tuesday media press conference, moments ago the Donald Trump officially signed into law new Russian sanctions that prevent the president from acting unilaterally to remove certain sanctions on Russia and adds sanctions against Russia, Iran and North Korea.

"While I favor tough measures to punish and deter aggressive and destabilizing behavior by Iran, North Korea, and Russia, this legislation is significantly flawed," Trump said in a statement announcing the signing.

Trump said he was concerned about the sanctions' effect on work with European allies, and on American business. "My administration ... expects the Congress to refrain from using this flawed bill to hinder our important work with European allies to resolve the conflict in Ukraine, and from using it to hinder our efforts to address any unintended consequences it may have for American businesses, our friends, or our allies," he said.

There were conflicting signals from the administration in recent days about the sanctions, with Rex Tillerson telling reporters on Tuesday that he and Trump did not believe they would "be helpful to our efforts" on diplomacy with Russia. Mike Pence said that the bill showed Trump and Congress were speaking "with a unified voice."

However, as Bloomberg also adds, the administration said it will carry out the law but "with reservations" about its impact and the constitutionality of some provisions.

The so-called signing statement, obtained by Bloomberg, lays out Trump’s concerns about the legislation, including that it encroaches on presidential authority and may hurt U.S. ability to work with allies.

Some more details on Trump's reservations:

Trump’s statement doesn’t signal any intent to bypass or circumvent aspects of the law. Instead, the president indicates he intends for his administration to carry out the law in a way consistent with his constitutional authority, language that leaves open some room for interpretation of how the law is executed.


Trump’s concerns cover four areas: encroachment on executive authority, unintentional harm to U.S. companies and business, as well as U.S. international partners, and limits on the flexibility of the administration to act in concert with allies in dealing with Russia.

And while Russia already announced its response, expelling some 755 US diplomats and seizing two US compounds, the spotlight now shifts to the European Union - which previously warned of an "imminent response" if European companies are hobbled by sanctions aimed at squeezing Russia’s energy exports - whose retaliation will be unveiled shortly.

Previously, Congressional lawmakers said they wanted to prevent the president from acting unilaterally to lift penalties imposed by Trump’s predecessor, former President Barack Obama, for meddling in last year’s U.S. election and for aggression in Ukraine.

White House officials had argued that it hampered the president’s ability to negotiate. But the legislation cleared both the House and Senate by wide margins, indicating any presidential veto would be overridden. Recent presidents including Obama and George W. Bush also used signing statements to express displeasure or signal planned modifications to legislation they felt compelled to sign over their own objections.


“This is an area, though, where the administration is going to be watched very carefully,” said Peter Feaver, a Duke University professor and director of the Triangle Institute for Security Studies, who served on the National Security Council staffs of Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. This sanctions bill, he said, was passed “by overwhelming majorities in both houses and it’s on one of the most important issues of the day. If the president tries to wiggle out from under the constraints of the law, I think he will pay a high political price for doing so.” Feaver also said he expects Congress will replace this sanctions bill with one that returns more flexibility to Trump once the administration comes up with a clear and tough Russia policy. 

In a second statement on the legislation, Trump said that, "Despite its problems, I am signing this bill for the sake of national unity."

"It represents the will of the American people to see Russia take steps to improve relations with the United States," he added.

One Republican senator, Lindsey Graham, while welcoming the signing, was critical of the low-key way it was done, without the typical array of television cameras and reporters present.

"The fact (that) he does this kind of quietly I think reinforces the narrative that the Trump administration is not really serious about pushing back on Russia. And I think that is a mistake, too, because Putin will see this as a sign of weakness," Graham said in a CNN interview.

* * *

Trump's full statement is below:

Subject: Statement by President Donald J. Trump on Signing the “Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act”




Office of the Press Secretary




August 2, 2017


*Statement by President Donald J. Trump on Signing the Countering Americas Adversaries Through Sanctions Act*


Today, I signed into law the Countering Americas Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, which enacts new sanctions on Iran, North Korea, and Russia. I favor tough measures to punish and deter bad behavior by the rogue regimes in Tehran and Pyongyang. I also support making clear that America will not tolerate interference in our democratic process, and that we will side with our allies and friends against Russian subversion and destabilization.


That is why, since taking office, I have enacted tough new sanctions on Iran and North Korea, and shored up existing sanctions on Russia.


Since this bill was first introduced, I have expressed my concerns to Congress about the many ways it improperly encroaches on Executive power, disadvantages American companies, and hurts the interests of our European allies.


My Administration has attempted to work with Congress to make this bill better. We have made progress and improved the language to give the Treasury Department greater flexibility in granting routine licenses to American businesses, people, and companies. The improved language also reflects feedback from our European allies who have been steadfast partners on Russia sanctions regarding the energy sanctions provided for in the legislation. The new language also ensures our agencies can delay sanctions on the intelligence and defense sectors, because those sanctions could negatively affect American companies and those of our allies.


Still, the bill remains seriously flawed particularly because it encroaches on the executive branchs authority to negotiate. Congress could not even negotiate a healthcare bill after seven years of talking. By limiting the Executives 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. The Framers of our Constitution put foreign affairs in the hands of the President. This bill will prove the wisdom of that choice.


Yet despite its problems, I am signing this bill for the sake of national unity. It represents the will of the American people to see Russia take steps to improve relations with the United States. We hope there will be cooperation between our two countries on major global issues so that these sanctions will no longer be necessary.


Further, the bill sends a clear message to Iran and North Korea that the American people will not tolerate their dangerous and destabilizing behavior. America will continue to work closely with our friends and allies to check those countries malignant activities.


I built a truly great company worth many billions of dollars. That is a big part of the reason I was elected. As President, I can make far better deals with foreign countries than Congress.


38BWD22 BaBaBouy Wed, 08/02/2017 - 13:30 Permalink

For the first time ever I am visiting Russia, at St. Petersburg via a cruise ship. St Pete is more modern than I thought it would be, I saw many more Western cars than locally made ones.

OK, a one day visit means little, but the country is a bit freer feeling than I had thought it would be. It does NOT seem like a hostile country.

The US (Trump) should just tell Congress to STFU, and strike a deal with Putin (yes I already know Putin lies). US out of wars in the ME, and should offer friendship to all, even rivals. Russia does not seem too bad (even considering their rural poverty (even visible in St Pete's outskirts).

Messing with Russia is just plain stupid.

EDIT: And I used to be a Cold Warrior when they were the USSR. It's a LOT different here, I can SEE it if you catch my drift....

In reply to by BaBaBouy

Slack Jack Kafir Goyim Wed, 08/02/2017 - 15:39 Permalink

Trump doesn't care about Europe.Trump doesn't care about Climate Change.Trump doesn't care about the World.Trump is a fool.

So, why is the global rise in temperatures so worrisome?

For one thing, as temperatures rise good farmland will become desert (e.g., dust-bowl conditions will probably return to the American Midwest).

Another major problem is sea-level rise.

Have a look at

The U.S. Geological Survey people claim that;

The Greenland ice sheet melting will raise sea-level 6.55 meters (21.5 feet),
the West Antarctica ice sheet melting will raise sea-level 8.06 meters (26.4 feet),
the East Antarctica ice sheet melting will raise sea-level 64.8 meters (212.6 feet),
and all other ice melting will raise sea-level 0.91 meters (3 feet).

For a grand total of about 80 meters (263 feet).

So, what does an 80 meter (263 feet) rise in sea-level mean. Have a look at the following map of the world after an 80 meter rise. It means that over one billion people will have to be resettled to higher ground and that much of the most productive agricultural land will be under water. Fortunately, at current rates, the Greenland ice sheet will take over a thousand years to melt and the Antarctica ice sheet, much longer. However, the greater the temperature rise the faster the ice sheets will melt, bringing the problem much closer. Remember, the huge ice sheet that recently covered much of North America, almost completely melted in only 15,000 years (today, only the Greenland ice sheet, and some other small patches of it, remain). Since then (15,000 years ago), sea-levels have risen about 125 meters (410 feet), only 80 meters to go.

The ice sheets have been continuously melting for thousands of years. What is left of them today, is still melting, and will continue to melt. Human caused global warning will cause this remnant to melt significantly faster. This is a big, big, problem.

For HUGE detailed maps of the "World after the Melt" go to:

Global temperatures are increasing. And by quite a lot each year.

2016 is the hottest year on record for global temperatures.

This is 0.0380 degrees centigrade hotter than the previous record year which was 2015.

0.0380 is a large increase in just one year.

2015 was the hottest year (at that time) for global temperatures.

This was 0.1601 degrees hotter than the previous record year which was 2014.

0.1601 is an absolutely huge increase in just one year (at this rate temperatures would increase by 16 degrees in a century.).

2014 was the hottest year (at that time) for global temperatures.

This was 0.0402 degrees hotter than the previous record year which was 2010.

In reply to by Kafir Goyim

PrayingMantis BaBaBouy Wed, 08/02/2017 - 13:37 Permalink

 ... >>> "Putin must be thinking that "Handshake" is worth Shit ... "   ... until the day the mUSic died ......" ... 'Cause the players tried to take the fieldThe marching band refused to yieldDo you recall what was revealedThe day the music died?We started singin'Bye, bye Miss American PieDrove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dryThem good ole boys were drinking whiskey and ryeAnd singin' this'll be the day that I dieThis'll be the day that I die ..." ~ American Pie

In reply to by BaBaBouy

NiggaPleeze HowdyDoody Wed, 08/02/2017 - 19:14 Permalink

 OMG!  What are you saying??? That the US interfered in another country's internal politics?US would never do that!  it's a just, moral and principled country, and see how righteous it gets over accusations a foreign power interfered in US politics by releasing some emails?  They wouldn't do that if ....

In reply to by HowdyDoody

NiggaPleeze FrozenGoodz (not verified) Wed, 08/02/2017 - 15:03 Permalink

 "A dictator is a political leader who wields absolute power."  So, let's see how Putin stacks up to your idiotic accusation:

  • Putin has to stand for election.  The fact that over 80% of Russians support him means he will be re-elected, but Merkel has served longer than Putin in the prime role (even though both she personally, and her policies, are far less popualr in Germany), and is set to continue.  Ever hear anybody complain about that?
  • Putin has an independent, elected legislature with massive power and far greater diversity than US Congress or virtually any Western parliament.  Yes, it is dominated by Putin's United Russia party, but see above about Putin's vast popularity.  The fact that a country is united does not make it a dictatorship. 
  • The Russian Federation is a Federation of Republics, and not just in name.  A vast amount of power is decentralized in the various republics.
  • Russia has an independent judiciary.  Yes, the Western media smears it, but that is their modus operandi
  • Russians have virtually full access to the internet.
  • Russia has a Constitution.
  • Russia has an independent Church.
  • Russia has independent (and in parts even virulently anti-Establishment) media (though most of the TV channels have an official link, neither print media, cable media or internet media does).

On any metric of dictatorship, Russia is clearly not one.

In reply to by FrozenGoodz (not verified)

The Wizard TuPhat Wed, 08/02/2017 - 12:32 Permalink

He didn't have much choice. I ask why so many were on board with this. Something doesn't smell kosher with so many voting for sanctions. Does it have anything to do with a currency war? I liked the fact he signed it with caveats. The legislation needs to spell out the details of why there is an adversarial relationship.I swear, the morons in DC must be hiring marketing people to come up with the titles to these pieces of crap legislation.Countering Americas Adversaries Through Sanctions ActThe one I really love is: The Patriot Act.

In reply to by TuPhat

HowdyDoody The Wizard Wed, 08/02/2017 - 16:22 Permalink

The 'USA Patriot Act' if you please:Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct TerrorismI guess it didn't go far enough. The US Treasury (((OFAC))) was not able to interdict the funding streams of ISIS based on looting of Syrian oil. I guess they need more tools. Is McCain still around? 

In reply to by The Wizard

king leon HopefulCynical Wed, 08/02/2017 - 16:08 Permalink

"Europe wants no part of these sanctions; this will drive a further wedge between Europe and the US as well." I know this sanctions idea sounds crazy, and will end up driving a wedge between Europe and the US but the US know this too, but if the US start a war with Iran then thatwill drive a wedge between Europe and Russia through NATO and Europe will have to fall in line behind the US unless they grow a pair of ball's and tell the US to fuck off.There will be war between Russia and the US if Iran is attacked or provoked into a war by the US. As far as the Kremlin is concerned Iran is a big red line and the gloves will come off. There will be no more land grab against countries that Russia considers an ally.       

In reply to by HopefulCynical

veritas semper… Oh regional Indian Wed, 08/02/2017 - 13:34 Permalink

Nice .Good comment.I say again,with no joy:JEWMERICA is officially done.This is the beginning of the final retaliation from the rest of the world and collapse for Jewmerica.I do not think we will reach October-November without serious consequences.I was so sure the Sayanim -in -chief will sign it. AIPAC rules Jewmerica. This is the irrefutable proof.QED.Sad,very sad that this country is reduced to this.

In reply to by Oh regional Indian

HRClinton Art Van_Delay (not verified) Wed, 08/02/2017 - 11:14 Permalink

Art, your initial posting about the slave trade disappeared. As did my response.Here is the disappeared link you posted:… is my disappeared response:   (((They))) cloak vice in virtue. (((They))) come as wolves in sheep's clothing. (((They))) come as angels of light, to preach falsehoods, perversions and subversion.   "By way of deception..."

In reply to by Art Van_Delay (not verified)

veritas semper… HRClinton Wed, 08/02/2017 - 20:27 Permalink

Most,by far ,of the slave traders were members of the tribe. And the center of the trade was exactly were Wall Street is now. You did not know this,did you?Huge fortunes were made with this and opium trade(see Sassoon for example)We could say that the same tribe members are trading in slavery now,with the center of the trade IN THE SAME PLACE.How fitting.

In reply to by HRClinton

justa minute HRClinton Wed, 08/02/2017 - 17:18 Permalink

most so called chtistians believe russia is gog from a huge misinterpretation, when in fact  that fake called israel is gog and their 70 or 100 years is almost up depending on which date the invasion occured. the socalled christians are going to have a big surprise. there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

In reply to by HRClinton

HardAssets Art Van_Delay (not verified) Wed, 08/02/2017 - 12:46 Permalink

Trump even could have refused to sign and the bill would've become law. With the morons in Congress & the Senate, that was gonna happen anyway. But at least Trump wouldn't have agreed to put his own signature to having his position and authority undermined. Trump could have gone before the American people on t.v. and address this issue and others. He's done none of that.

It seems that America is no longer capable to producing real leaders. Or if they're out there, we sure don't hear about them. None of them are in D.C. apparently.

In reply to by Art Van_Delay (not verified)

HardAssets Art Van_Delay (not verified) Wed, 08/02/2017 - 13:01 Permalink

A former Navy SEAL is putting together an organization of spec-ops and law enforcement pros for the purpose of attacking the pedophiles. This man mentioned talking to other war fighters and while they had the kind of physical courage that meant they would risk their lives against gunfire, they wouldn't stand up and say anything about the destruction of their country. All they would do is praise this former SEAL . . . privately. No way they would risk salary and pension for what's right. They lack moral courage.

A lot of that going on today, all the way to the so-called 'top'.

In reply to by Art Van_Delay (not verified)