Wednesday, June 14, 2017

What did Donald Trump do today?

He saw the Senate vote 97-2 in favor of new sanctions against Russia, but hasn't yet said where he stands on the issue.

Lawmakers agreed yesterday on a package of toughened sanctions against Russia in retaliation for its interference in the 2016 election. Today, in a rare moment of bipartisanship, that bill overwhelmingly passed the Senate. 

Notably, the new sanctions could not easily be undone by Trump, unlike those currently in force. That detail is significant because Trump made undoing those sanctions a high priority during his first weeks in office. Only rising political pressure from alarmed State Department officials--and the growing public suspicion that Trump's campaign had actively colluded with Russia about both the election and the repeal of sanctions--stopped that from happening. 

Trump has refused to allow the State Department to commit to a position on the subject.

Why is this a bad thing?

  • It's bad if the Senate, nearly to the last member, doesn't trust the president on matters of major international significance.