Former Clinton Special Counsel: Trump Approved Russian Sanctions To Avoid Embarrassment

President Trump's decision to approve sanctions against Russia won't prove he is serious about taking on Moscow because the bill was signed to avoid embarrassment from his own party, according to President Bill Clinton's former special counsel.

Davis argues the sanctions do not negate Trump's encouragement of Russia during the campaign to hack into Hillary Clinton's email server, and publish whatever they may have found. 

Some Republicans agree that Trump was forced to sign the sanctions not because he wanted to but due to what they consider the media's fixation with the Russia storyline.

"I would be lying if I said Trump was not backed into a corner on signing the sanctions bill because of the media's obsession with Russia," Ford O'Connell a Republican strategist and former adviser to John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign, told the Washington Examiner.

While O'Connell believes signing the sanctions were the right thing to do, he expressed a fear many conservatives have that the newly imposed measures against Moscow could hurt the administration down the road.

"If it were not for the Russia/2016 election storyline, Trump should not have signed the bill. Not because Russia should not be punished for its actions in the 2016 election, Ukraine, etc., but because the bill encroaches on the president's foreign policy powers as outlined in Article II of the Constitution. In essence, ceding presidential authority to a dysfunctional Congress could come back to bite not only the Trump administration but also America with the bevy of problems brewing all over the globe," O'Connell added.

Read more from Sean Langille at the Washington Examiner

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