WASHINGTON, D.C. — In July of 2017 the United States Congress sent economic sanctions against Russia for their role in undermining the 2016 presidential election to the desk of President Donald Trump to be implemented. Making the passage of the sanctions truly noteworthy was the fact that it was as close to a unanimous decision in the Senate — and even the more polarized House of Representatives — in an exceedingly rare instance of true bipartisanship. Heretofore, however, President Trump has yet to enact the sanctions, instead having his state department announce that the sanctions would be too upsetting to Russo-U.S. relations at this time.
Many on both the right and left have excoriated the president for not implementing the sanctions. More than a dozen intelligence agencies have concluded that Russia continually hacked and committed cyber strikes against networks in the United States in an effort to influence the 2016 election in a way that would get Trump elected. Russia also employed bot armies to flood social media with anti-Hillary Clinton propaganda.
Despite his administration saying he’s been “extremely tough” on Russia, the fact remains that as of yet, Trump has not implemented sanctions that would be a direct rebuke and punishment for Russia’s interference.
It is now 17 days since Mueller’s criminal indictments against Russians for interfering in our democracy.And 4 days since Putin bragged about his nuclear capabilities using a video simulating hitting Florida. Why isn’t Trump doing anything-and Congress why are you allowing this?!
— Amy Siskind (@Amy_Siskind) March 5, 2018
This morning, President Trump told reporters in the Oval Office that the “hullabaloo” over the sanctions is “bigly fake news” because he fully intends to implement the sanctions, just as soon as Russian President Vladimir Putin tells him it’s okay to do so.
“Folks, everyone in the FAKE NEWS is freaking out about me not implementing the санкции against Russia,” Trump said. “But that hullabaloo is bigly fake news! Just as soon as Uncle Vlad says I can, I will totally implement them!”
Trump said that he has a “special relationship” with Putin, and that relationship could lead to stronger, friendlier ties between Russia and the U.S. Trump therefore does not want to disrupt his relationship with Putin, and said it was in “everyone’s best interest” for him to remain as friendly as possible with Putin.
“Trust me, no one wants to see that tape,” Trump said. Suddenly, he caught himself. “I mean, er, um, you know, FAKE NEWS! MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN! CHAIN MIGRATION! SECOND AMENDMENT, CROOKED HILLARY!”
Trump looked around and asked his staffers if he’d been sufficiently distracting. Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders put down her gravy smothered, chicken fried coffee cake and gave her boss a thumbs-up.
“Okay, cool, glad we cleared all that up,” Trump said, hurrying the reporters out of the Oval Office. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a very important meeting.”
A reporter asked on their way out if it was the survivors of the Parkland school shooting he was meeting with. Trump laughed.
“No, it’s my caddie. And I’m late for tee off,” Trump said, grabbing his golf bag on the way out of the door.
This story is developing.