President Donald Trump has signed a bill that allows new sanctions against Russia,but not without expressing his concerns over what he considers significantly flawed legislation.
Congress included a number of clearly unconstitutional provisions in the bill, Trump argued Wednesday in a statement.He claimed in a separate statement that the bill encroaches on the executive branchs authority to negotiate, and worked in a jab at Senate Republicans over their failure to pass legislation on health care.
Congress could not even negotiate a healthcare bill after seven years of talking, Trump said.
The president touted his business background while criticizing the bill, which imposes new sanctions on Russia and puts limits on Trumps ability to lift them.
I built a truly great company worth many billions of dollars, Trumps statement said. 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 White House signaled Fridaythat Trump would sign the legislation after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered massive cuts to the U.S. diplomatic staff in his country. The bill, which also imposes sanctions on North Korea and Iran, is partly a response to Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
AsReuters reports, the bill will affect a range of Russian industries and might further hurt the countrys economy, which was already weakened by 2014 sanctions imposed after the Ukraine crisis.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Tuesday that neither he nor Trump were very happy about the action by the Congress to put these sanctions in place and the way they did.
We were clear that we didnt think it was going to be helpful to our efforts, but thats the decision they made, Tillerson told reporters. They made it in a very overwhelming way. I think the president accepts that.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story mistakenly said the bill limits the presidents ability to lift sanctions on Russia and Ukraine.