Senate overwhelmingly votes to curtail Trump’s power to ease Russia sanctions

The Washington Post reports: The Senate voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to allow Congress to block any efforts by the president to scale back sanctions against Russia, and to strengthen those sanctions in retaliation for Moscow’s alleged interference in the 2016 election and its actions in Syria.

The vote of 97 to 2 is a sharp rebuke to President Trump’s posture on Russia and his resistance to the intelligence community’s assessment that the country was behind efforts to influence the election he won.

The two senators who voted against the measure were Republicans Rand Paul (Ky.) and Mike Lee (Utah).

Trump has repeatedly and openly doubted the intelligence community’s finding that Russia meddled in the presidential election. While his administration has not ordered a rollback of any existing sanctions, lawmakers have been concerned about his conciliatory, and at times even forgiving, rhetoric about Russia, as well as recent moves to give Moscow back control over two diplomatic compounds that the Obama administration reclaimed in late December. [Continue reading…]

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