After his administration’s failure to weaken a bill to toughen sanctions against Russia, President Donald Trump begrudgingly signed it into law this week, calling it “seriously flawed” and suggesting parts were unconstitutional. But on Sunday, his envoy to the United Nations defended them as an appropriate response to Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
Though intelligence agency after intelligence agency has made it clear that Russia’s government was behind the hacking and theft of emails, disinformation, and numerous other attempts to disrupt the election — helping Trump — the president said last month that “nobody really knows” who was behind the effort.
But his own UN Ambassador told CNN that the sanctions were needed given Russia’s actions.
“We should be hard on any country that tries to meddle in our elections, whether it’s Russia or anyone else. And I think that what you saw is that sanctions were a response to the meddling,” she told CNN’s Ana Cabrera. “We hope that they will continue to see that it’s about strong actions and not about irresponsible ones. And so we hope that their days of meddling in elections are over.”
This represents a clear contradiction of Trump’s view that by passing the sanctions he signed, Congress has brought the nation’s relationship with Russia — which was notably hostile during the Cold War and Cuban Missile Crisis — to an “all-time & very dangerous low.”
Our relationship with Russia is at an all-time & very dangerous low. You can thank Congress, the same people that can't even give us HCare!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 3, 2017