President Donald Trump | YouTube, NBC News

The Facts

  • President Donald Trump signed into law on Wednesday a bill that imposes new sanctions against North Korea, Russia, and Iran. The bill also prohibits the president from easing the sanctions against Russia without congressional approval (Sec. 216 (b)(3)).
    • The bill, H.R. 3364, passed the Senate and House by votes of 98-2 and 419-3, respectively.
  • According to the bill, sanctions against Iran will combat terrorism and human rights abuses, end instability in the Middle East, and also condemn the continuation of the Iranian ballistic missile program.
  • The bill’s reasons for sanctioning Russia include Russian threats to US cybersecurity, corruption within the Russian Federation, and Russian involvement in Ukraine and Syria.
  • This bill also calls for the strict enforcement of United Nations sanctions against North Korea, as well as condemns North Korea’s human rights abuses.
  • Trump released two statements after signing the bill. The president said in the second statement:

“Since this bill was first introduced, I have expressed my concerns to Congress about the many ways it improperly encroaches on Executive power, disadvantages American companies, and hurts the interests of our European allies…

Still, the bill remains seriously flawed – particularly because it encroaches on the executive branch’s authority to negotiate…

Yet despite its problems, I am signing this bill for the sake of national unity. It represents the will of the American people to see Russia take steps to improve relations with the United States. We hope there will be cooperation between our two countries on major global issues so that these sanctions will no longer be necessary.”

“I built a truly great company worth many billions of dollars. That is a big part of the reason I was elected. As president, I can make far better deals with foreign countries than Congress.”

“The action by the Congress to put these sanctions in place and the way they did, neither the president nor I are very happy about that…

We were clear that we didn’t think it was going to be helpful to our efforts. But that’s the decision they made. They made it in a very overwhelming way, and I think the president accepts that… We’ll work with it… We can’t let it take us off track of trying to restore the relationship.”

Responses

  • Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev wrote on Twitter:

  • Rep. Adam Schiff (California), the Ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, tweeted:

  • Mollie Hemingway, senior editor at The Federalist, tweeted:

  • Ryan Lizza, reporter for The New Yorker, tweeted:

“Look, this morning, the president signed the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act. The president favors tough measures to punish and deter the bad behavior of the rogue regimes in Iran and North Korea.  And he also sent a clear signal that we won’t tolerate interference in our democratic process by Russia…

The bill was improved, but Congress has encroached on the power of the presidency, and he signed it in the interest of national unity. We’ve been very clear that we support tough sanctions on all three of those countries. We continue to do so. And that has certainly not changed, and I think that was reflected in the statements today.”

  • Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer tweeted:

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