Moments after signing into law additional sanctions on Russia — including limits to the president's ability to walk back such sanctions without congressional approval — President Trump ripped the legislation in a statement, calling it "significantly flawed" and "unconstitutional."
"While I favor tough measures to punish and deter aggressive and destabilizing behavior by Iran, North Korea, and Russia, this legislation is significantly flawed," Trump wrote. "In its haste to pass this legislation, the Congress included a number of clearly unconstitutional provisions." Trump added that his administration "particularly expects the Congress to refrain from using this flawed bill to hinder our important work with European allies to resolve the conflict in Ukraine, and from using it to hinder our efforts to address any unintended consequences it may have for American businesses, our friends, or our allies."
In another statement, Trump said that "despite its problems, I am signing this bill for the sake of national unity. It represents the will of the American people to see Russia take steps to improve relations with the United States." Trump went on to conclude: "I built a truly great company worth many billions of dollars. That is a big part of the reason I was elected. As president, I can make far better deals with foreign countries than Congress."
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Last week, the House passed the sanctions legislation 419-3 and the Senate, 98-2. The veto-proof majorities would have put Trump in a tough spot if he had declined to sign.
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