Published: Thu, August 03, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Donald Trump signs bill imposing sanctions on Russian Federation

Donald Trump signs bill imposing sanctions on Russian Federation

Pence acknowledged that the administration objected to earlier versions of the sanctions bill because it did not grant enough flexibility to the administration, but said it "improved significantly" in later versions.

The bill, which the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate passed by wide margins last week, toughens sanctions on the three nations - specifically with Russian Federation over its presence in Ukraine and Syria, as well as the U.S. intelligence community's assertion that Russian Federation tried to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

The House and Senate both passed the bill with almost unanimous bipartisan support last week.

Trump said he was signing the measure "for the sake of national unity". Trump is expected to sign the legislation "soon", Vice-President Mike Pence said this week.

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A day before the signing, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made clear that neither he nor Trump support the sanctions. "Congress could not even negotiate a health care bill after seven years of talking".

In response to the sanctions, Russian Federation said the US has until September 1 to cut its diplomatic staff in the country by 755 people.

The Republican-controlled Congress approved the legislation by such a large margin on Thursday that it would have thwarted any effort by Trump to veto the bill.

In signing the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, Mr Trump attached a statement calling the sanctions "deeply flawed".

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The bill, which was signed in private at the White House, also imposes sanctions on Iran and North Korea.

"My Administration has attempted to work with Congress to make this bill better", he said. The U.S. intelligence community concluded that the Russian government backed a campaign to interfere in the presidential election. He has also repeatedly insisted that while Russian Federation could have been responsible, other countries might also have been at fault.

Mr Trump put his signature on the legislation on Wednesday, prompting swift retribution from Moscow.

The White House says the president was not out of line in helping his son.

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Lawmakers pushed the sanctions, particularly those against Russian Federation, in spite of the president's conciliatory tone toward the country whose government US intelligence agencies concluded meddled in the 2016 presidential election.

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