Red Flag: Trump Refuses to Enforce Russian Sanctions

If I were Donald Trump (I shudder at the thought) and I was caught up in this Russian collusion scandal, I would probably go out of my way to make it seem like I wasn’t showing Russia any favoritism. Only Trump is Trump, though, and he’s chosen to give Russia a pass on past and future misdeeds in an alarming fashion.

On Monday, the White House faced a deadline from Congress to impose penalties against parties that do business with Russia intelligence and defense agencies. That deadline passed and Trump declined to follow the stipulations of the law.

Mind you, Congress passed these sanctions back in July by a margin of 517 to 5, which is as close to unanimous as you can reasonably get in Congress. Congress can’t seem to agree on anything, so the fact that there was such overwhelming bipartisan support demonstrates just how much Russia deserves consequences – only the Trump administration seems to disagree.

“If the law is working, sanctions on specific entities or individuals will not need to be imposed because the legislation is, in fact, serving as a deterrent,” said Heather Nauert, a spokesperson for the State Department, defending the lack of White House action.

The translation of that seems to be, “The law being on the books is enough to prevent people from doing business with Russia without us having to actually enforce the penalties.” Alas, if they’re saying they’re not enforcing the penalties how does that work as a deterrent? Surely even the White House must see the flaw therein.

Surely something needs to be done to punish Russia for meddling in the U.S. elections. Even Trump’s pal, CIA Director Mike Pompeo just admitted that all evidence points to Russia interfering in the 2018 elections, as well. Trump disregarding sanctions should be a major red flag, as it is clear he is siding with Russia over the sanctity of fair elections.

The White House did comply with the part of the law that required the White House to furnish a list of the oligarchs with influential ties to the Kremlin that might warrant sanctions – well, sort of. They actually just copy and pasted lists of names available on the Kremlin’s English language webpage and a Forbes article of the richest Russians.

In effect, they’ve provided a list so lousy that it can’t actually be used or taken seriously. Elites who had panicked that their names would wind up on the U.S. list know they won’t be blacklisted for appearing on the White House’s list since it involved no actual vetting.

According to ThinkProgress, some in the administration had compiled an actual list of rich Kremlin-enablers based on substantial intelligence, but then someone high up in the administration intervened and demanded the expert list be cast aside for this more useless one. Basically, it was a deliberate attempt to tank the list.

Unfortunately, despite near universal support for these sanctions in the summer, Republicans aren’t condemning the White House’s lack of action. Senator Bob Corker, who was instrumental in creating this law, declined to come down on the White House for not sticking to the timetable, saying he “feel[s] pretty good about the process” and believes the White House will comply more in the future.

That’s optimistic, but as the Washington Post points out, there’s not a lot Congress can do to compel Trump to enforce the law (even though it is the law!) because foreign policy is the executive branch’s domain. Sure, Congress can threaten impeachment or hold up nominations, but given that Republicans have the majority and they’ve offered Trump a pass on just about everything else so far, are they really going to start now?

In short, Trump refuses to hold Russia accountable for their nefarious acts against the United States, and he doesn’t even care that it makes him look more guilty because he know he has the GOP to run interference for him. Three cheers for democracy – which we can expect to be tampered with again in November!

Photo credit: Thinkstock

112 comments

Paulo R
Paulo R12 months ago

ty

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shawn arscott
Darlene Buckinghamabout a year ago

Paul B: Hillary is corrupt to the core. I mentioned George W. because he is corrupt to the core and telling the public that Trump is colluding with the Russians. Look who is talking!? The collusion is by trolling the public and trying to influence the public. Trump, Putin, Hillary the Bush family, in fact, unfortunately, all politicians and corporations are trolling the public and trying to influence rather than educate and make good choices. The public has to start asking for better behaviour from our so-called leaders. Elected leaders and heads of corporations are not interested in telling the truth. What needs to happen now to create a better world is that enough people start speaking up about the corruption that is found in all politicians and not support the lesser evil. The lesser evil is still evil. It is time to only elect politicians that are working to create a better world. The resulting destruction of our health and the Planet Earth is becoming too much to deal with. If we want this to end we have to stop supporting anyone that does not work for LIFE FIRST!

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Brian F
Brian Fabout a year ago

Both parties have sold out to Wall Street and corporations, and betrayed us. The Democrat Bill Clinton passed the 1994 crime bill that led to mass incarceration. Bill also allowed the banks to defraud us by allowing Glass Steagall. Republican GW Bush led us to war in Iraq based on lies, and cut taxes for the rich. Many Democrats like Hillary voted for that war. The Democrat Obama made the Bush tax cuts permanent, criminalized whistleblowers, continued our foreign war in Afghanistan, sold weapons to Saudi Arabia, killed innocent people with drone strikes, was bombing 7 countries, gave us a Republican healthcare plan, instead of Medicare for All like he promissed, and took $400,000 as a reward for not prosecuting one banker, and selling the country out to Wall Street. So people voted for Trump, because of the horrible policies of both parties. Unfortunately Trump is wrong about our enviroment, and lies about Global Warming because he is in the pockets of our dirty fossil fuel industry. Most of his positions are also horrible.

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Paul B
Paul Babout a year ago

Shawn, You realize it was Hillary who sold this country to the highest bidder at every opportunity. She sacrificed this country's interests for her personal wealth. The Uranium One deal put millions in her pocket. Her pay-for-play schemes while SoS are well documented, but likely you haven't seen much of any of this because you watch news that excludes coverage of anything that reflects poorly on Hillary or the Dem party.

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Annabel Bedini
Annabel Bediniabout a year ago

shawn a
Am I msireading you? Did you say George W Bush was a Democrat? He was, is, a Republican!!!!!!! Maybe you'd better take your own advice about not listening to claptrap? Just joking.

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shawn arscott
Darlene Buckinghamabout a year ago

Now former Pres George W. Bush, a Democrat, has entered the fray saying that the Russians influenced the election together with Trump as if has never lied to or mislead the public. The message that is coming across loud and clear is that politicians think that the public are idiots, easily falling under the influence of trolls and liars. There is some truth in this and the public, if they want to live a better life have to start challenging the claptrap that comes out of politicians mouths and be better themselves. This Russian distraction reflects on all of us.

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shawn arscott
Darlene Buckinghamabout a year ago

Trump has mastered the art of the insult and is a super troll - maybe he doesn't see that trolling by the Russians is a problem. Clearly, he knows that he can influence people by bold-faced lying and insulting people. Did the Russians ask his permission? I doubt it. They most likely just went ahead and did it. Why would the Russians want to support Trump? My guess is because they know he is an idiot and easily influenced himself. Show Trump the money and he thinks that this is the highest good. In the meantime, Trump is fighting with everyone including the FBI because that is all he knows. There is no dignity or good results that come from such low-brow behaviour. Note too that the Democrats and the FBI are as low-brow as Trump. The world is in trouble and has allowed trolling to become commonplace rather than wisdom and knowledge that works to create a better world. It is up to the public to no longer support this and speak up that this Russian red herring is distracting from the real problem - lack of integrity and true service to life. I will not support this nonsense while life is suffering so much as liars and cheaters bicker about collusion. In a way politicians are colluding to keep the world in ignorance and distraction. The public has to demand better.

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Elaine W
Elaine Wabout a year ago

The most innocentest person you will ever meet, that I can tell you, believe me .

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Annabel Bedini
Annabel Bediniabout a year ago

Shawn, I can easily imagine a scenario in which some of Trump's oligarch friends say 'You know, we could help you in your campaign with some social media messaging' and T replying 'You could? Great! Thanks!' But maybe that's my paranoid imagination.

As for the rest of what you say,of course I agree!!!!!!

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shawn arscott
Darlene Buckinghamabout a year ago

I agree that it is important to know if the President of the United States colluded with the Russians but looking at this logically it doesn't make sense that he did and this bickering will continue distracting from real issues facing humanity. The public also has to start getting much more vocal about raising the bar for political leaders by not accepting the fake news that politicians continually are spewing out to the public through the media. All of us together have created this unbalanced world, careening towards destruction and it will take all of us to work together to create a world based on wisdom, knowledge, logic and CARE for life.

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