Vox reports: President Donald Trump’s administration missed its deadline to implement sanctions on Russia — and Republicans in Congress are starting to worry about why.
“I’m going to get on the phone with someone,” Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), who played a key role negotiating the sanctions bill as chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told reporters on Wednesday. The bill was a direct punishment for Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
The law, which passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in Congress and which Trump signed into law in early August, required the administration to identify which Russian entities would be penalized with new sanctions by October 1. They still have not done so. The State Department has said it is “working to complete the process and provide the public guidance to the relevant people just as soon as possible.”
Republicans have stopped short of claiming that the administration’s delays have been strategic. “We’re going to check into it,” Corker said. “I don’t have any way of evaluating whether it’s purposeful or not purposeful.”
But it’s no secret that Trump, who has emphasized wanting a warmer relationship with Russia, did not want to sign the bill into law — and did so grudgingly. At the time, he released a statement claiming he is much better at dealmaking than Congress is and angrily tweeted that Republican lawmakers were ruining his relationship with Russia. [Continue reading…]