WH Spox Backtracks, Says Trump Still Looking Over Russia Sanctions Bill

Deputy White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders speaks during the daily briefing at the White House in Washington, Wednesday, May 10, 2017. Sanders was asked about the firing of FBI Director James Comey, President Donald Trump's meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and other topics. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Susan Walsh/AP

After saying on Sunday that President Donald Trump supported a bill imposing new sanctions on Russia, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders backtracked on Monday, telling reporters that the President was still reviewing the bill.

“He’s looking over where it stands exactly at this point and we’ll keep you posted on the decision,” Sanders told reporters aboard Air Force One when asked about the Russia sanctions bill.

“The President has been very vocal about his support for continued sanctions on those three countries. He has no intention of getting rid of them, but he wants to make sure we get the best deal for the American people possible. Congress doesn’t have the best record on that,” she said, describing the President’s thinking on the bill working its way through Congress, which would impose new sanctions on North Korea and Iran as well as Russia.

Her comments Monday differed from the answer she gave on Sunday when asked on ABC News’ “This Week” whether Trump backed the bill.

“The administration is supportive of being tough on Russia, particularly in putting these sanctions in place,” she said Sunday. “We support where the legislation is now and will continue working with the House and Senate to put those tough sanctions in place on Russia.”

Anthony Scaramucci, the new White House communications director, said on Sunday that Trump had not yet made a decision on the legislation.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Caitlin MacNeal is a News Writer based in Washington, D.C. Before joining TPM, Caitlin interned and wrote for the Huffington Post, the Sunlight Foundation and Slate. She is a graduate of Georgetown University.
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