O’Brien Claims ‘Almost Nothing’ Left On Russia Sanctions Despite DNI’s Dire Warning

National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien attends a briefing on Enhanced Narcotics Operations at the US Southern Command in Doral, Florida, on July 10, 2020. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)
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National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien on Sunday dismissed the notion of imposing additional sanctions against Russia even after the DNI warned for the first time that the country detailed a campaign to “denigrate” former Vice President Joe Biden in the November election.

On Friday, counterintelligence chief William Evanina issued a statement warning that the Kremlin “is using a range of measures to primarily denigrate” both Biden and “an anti-Russia ‘establishment.’” Evanina also warned that China “prefers” for Trump to lose re-election to Biden.

Two weeks before his latest announcement, Evanina released a similar statement warning of interference by Russia, China and Iran in the November elections. Last week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) reportedly criticized Evanina over the statement, arguing that he withheld key information regarding foreign meddling campaigns in the 2020 elections, including Russian efforts that support President Trump’s re-election.

When pressed during an interview on CBS on Sunday morning about whether Trump spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin late last month to “knock this off,” O’Brien first dodged by saying that Trump and his administration has repeatedly told Russia not to get involved in the election.

Pressed again on whether Trump said that to Putin during their call last month, O’Brien insisted that he does not get into conversations that the President has with foreign heads of state because “those are private conversations.”

CBS’ Margaret Brennan continued pressing O’Brien on the matter, however, and O’Brien eventually claimed that “there’s almost nothing we can sanction left of the Russians.”

O’Brien then touted that the Trump administration had already “sanctioned the heck out of Russians” before reiterating his claim that the President continues to tell Russia, China and Iran to not get involved in U.S. elections.

Watch O’Brien’s remarks below:

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Notable Replies

  1. We’ve entered the Susan Collins “disappointed” phase of Russia/United States election interference.

    Wonder what the bounties are going for right now?

  2. “You’ve obviously mistaken me for someone who gives a damn about Russian interference in our election,” he said. “Won’t you people ever learn?”

  3. “…sanctions will have a long-term effect on the future economic strategy of Russia by blocking the modernization of the country, allowing corruption to flourish and inhibiting growth.”

    "An active and effective sanctions policy requires resources and allies. Thus, the EU and the US could try to involve more third-party states in their sanctions policy. This could be done together by diplomatic outreach or through the imposition of secondary sanctions to force third countries’ governments and companies to choose between the EU and US markets on one side or Russia on the other.

    Trump has certainly alienated our allies that could help in sanctioning Russia…which makes his master happy!

    Happy Putin keeps Trump in power and makes Putin win = Despotic Synergy!

    Trump-Putin-Call-IntelBrief

  4. Avatar for pshah pshah says:

    A National Security Advisor basically saying there’s nothing we can do to keep an enemy power from interfering in our elections is a disgrace. Why he can’t think of anything, when I can, is unfathomable.

    Did he have anything intelligible to say about Russia’s bounties on our troops?

  5. One can only assume that Putin has compromising photographs or videos of Donnie and that the loans to the Trump Organization from DeutscheBank are guaranteed by Russian oligarchs beholden to Putin. There is NO OTHER damned explanation. Donnie is fraudulent through and through.

Continue the discussion at forums.talkingpointsmemo.com

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