No, of course this doesn’t seem like the actions of a party more interested in the well being of a hostile foreign power than that of our own nation.
So President Trump has balked at the notion of continuing sanctions against his man-crush, Vladimir Putin’s Russia. Further, the Trump administration has pushed back against efforts by Democrats to stop the Treasury Department from loosening sanctions on several Russian companies.
They sought to use a resolution of disapproval to block Treasury’s sanctions relaxation on EN+ Group Plc, JSC EuroSibEnergo, and United Co. Rusal Plc, which have all been linked to Kremlin-backed oligarch Oleg Deripaska.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says he was able to negotiate deals with those companies to reduce Mr. Deripaska’s control, which puts them above the sanctions bar.
Because the word of Kremlin-backed players is always super-reliable, at least in the world of Trump.
This is not the first time President Trump or some of his seedier administration members have stacked the decks in favor of Mother Russia.
President Obama hit Russia with stiff sanctions in response to their interference in the 2016 election.
Even though there is ample evidence and the U.S. intelligence community has been in full agreement, in regards to Russia’s activities during the election, President Trump has consistently parroted the pro-Russian line, denying their involvement, or suggesting there may be others.
He has pushed back against efforts to further sanction Russia. He has upped his pro-Russia rhetoric, to the point of even standing on the world stage and giving simpering approval to the word of a former KGB agent, and throwing our intelligence community under the bus.
And what about his efforts to keep all of his communications with Putin hidden from even senior administration staff, to the point of confiscating notes from staff?I don’t know how a Russian asset would act any differently.
Democrats had hoped to send a message by blocking the easing of those sanctions, but in the end, they only had 57 votes in the Senate.
There were 11 Republicans who joined with their Democrat colleagues, but it would have required 60 votes to make it happen.
“Do you believe America should take a tough line on Putin or do you think we should go easy on Putin and his cronies?” said Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, framing the vote as a swat at Russian leader Vladimir Putin.
If you’re Donald Trump, or all but 11 Republicans in the Senate, they think Putin and Russia deserve to be coddled and protected.
In the 57-42 vote, some of the Republicans that joined with Democrats to try and remain tough on Russia included: Susan Collins (Maine), Cory Gardner (Colorado), Marco Rubio (Florida), Tom Cotton (Arkansas), Martha McSally (Arizona), Josh Hawley (Missouri), and Ben Sasse (Nebraska).
Good for them.
They may disappoint at various points in their careers and in different ways, but this was a bipartisan move that was done for the right purpose.
With this win under their belts, watch the gutless group of Republicans, including Senators Lindsey Graham and Ted Cruz, to see what other moves they make to assure Russia keeps the upper hand over the United States.
Then plan your future votes accordingly.