Under mounting domestic pressure, President Donald Trump today signed into law a legislation that imposes tough sanctions against Russia, Iran and North Korea and limits his ability to lift the curbs unilaterally.
Trump said he was elected partly because of his successes in business, adding, "As President, I can make far better deals with foreign countries than Congress".
Medvedev warned the move would have "consequences", saying "it ends hopes for improving our relations with the new USA administration". It also prevents the president from unilaterally lifting existing sanctions on the country.
It was powerful evidence of the roadblock Congress has erected to Trump's efforts to reset relations with Russian Federation at a time when federal investigators are probing Moscow's interference in the USA presidential election and possible collusion by the Trump campaign.
In short, if the president wants to lift or modify sanctions on Russian Federation, he has to run it by Congress first.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday announced Moscow's decision to reduce the USA diplomatic staff in Russia by 755 people, including US and Russian nationals, by September 1.
He totally denied ever insulting the presidential residence, calling the SI story fake news..
He said the measures, signed by Donald Trump, demonstrated the complete impotence of the U.S. president, whom he said had been humiliated by Congress. He also said the sanctions bill would only ignite an all-out trade war between the two sides.
The delay had raised speculation that Trump might veto or try to somehow shelve the sanctions, which were approved in a 98-2 Senate vote.
Trump, in signing the bill Wednesday, called it "significantly flawed", and says his administration expects Congress to refrain from using this bill to hinder work with European allies or the work of American businesses.
The legislation sat on his desk for almost a week after it was approved by Congress.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders commented that the President's viewpoint was still essentially in line with that of the legislation. That was a reference to Russia's decision to sharply cut the USA diplomatic personnel and close a US recreational retreat and warehouse facilities.
"Neither the president nor I are very happy about that", Tillerson said Tuesday. "The administration - knowing that unless it's way out of bounds - likely they have the flexibility to do what they need to do".
But Trump, and for that matter his friend Vladimir Putin, failed to understand that democracies are run more by institutional rules than personal preferences - good or bad.
"I do think that the lack of strong statements in that regard probably effected the outcome", he said.
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