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Change of pace: Team Trump Taking on Russia?

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Le NewYorkais

Joined: 17 Oct 2005
Posts: 484

PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 3:13 am    Post subject: Change of pace: Team Trump Taking on Russia? Reply with quote

Democrats Actually Praise Team Trump for Taking on Russia
The president is still Putin-philic. But his administration is taking an increasingly hard line toward Moscow. Top Democrats are noticing the shift.
BY Andrew Desiderio

Trump and his Kremlin-friendly actions—offered effusive praise for his administration after it issued new Russia-related sanctions in close consultation with Congress.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), a possible 2020 presidential contender, told The Daily Beast that the new designations were “a good sign and a good step in the right direction.”

The overall effort caught many lawmakers by surprise, after months of accusing the administration of stonewalling them over similar sanctions that the White House opposed from the start.

That’s because, despite its stated goal to rebuild U.S.-Russia relations, the administration last week sanctioned five Russian and Chechen individuals under the Magnitsky Act, a 2012 law that punishes alleged human rights abusers by freezing their assets and banning them from seeking visas. The sanctions targeted Ramzan Kadyrov, the head of the Chechen Republic and an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, over allegations of corruption and extrajudicial killings. The move drew a rebuke from the Kremlin, which called the U.S.’ actions “illegal” and “unfriendly” and said it further degrades the strained U.S.-Russia relationship.

Putin has condemned the Magnitsky Act and the resulting sanctions since it was passed, and he retaliated for the effort by banning Americans from adopting Russian children. The issue gained an international spotlight recently when it was revealed that Donald Trump Jr., the president’s son, met last year at Trump Tower with Russians alleged to have Kremlin ties. The younger Trump initially said the meeting centered around the Russian adoption issue, but it was later revealed that he took the meeting after he was promised damaging information on Hillary Clinton.

Throughout Trump’s first year in office, lawmakers have noticed a determination on the part of some administration officials to get tougher on Russia in light of its destabilizing actions in eastern Europe and its efforts to meddle in the 2016 U.S. election. But Trump himself, they have argued, is preventing a whole-of-government approach to counter Russian aggression. From his tiptoeing around the issue of Russia’s election meddling to his slow-walking of a sweeping new Russia sanctions law he was forced to sign in August, his posturing has often conflicted with that of his top officials, who have confronted Russia more direre:ctly.

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Do Quy

Joined: 03 Aug 2007
Posts: 1035
Location: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 5:45 pm    Post subject: Russkies not happy! Reply with quote

Russia: Worsening Ties With U.S. ‘Major Disappointment’

The Kremlin sees its worsening ties with the United States as one of its major disappointments of 2017, Vladimir Putin’s spokesman said Friday. The tensions have hit a post-Cold War low thanks to allegations of U.S. election meddling in 2016, the investigation of possible collusion with the Trump campaign, and Russia’s annexation of Crimea and alleged shootdown of a Malaysia Airlines passenger plane over Ukraine three years ago. For the past year, each have poked at the other, including legislation targeting journalists and restrictions on embassy staff. The spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told reporters that Russia still seeks better relations with the U.S. based on a “mutual trust and mutual respect” but noted, “it takes two to tango.”

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