White House Comms. Director Anthony Scaramucci told CNN that President Trump might veto the outrageously bipartisan new sanctions bill against Russia.
“He may sign the sanctions exactly the way they are, or he may veto the sanctions and negotiate an even tougher deal against the Russians,” Scaramucci told CNN.
The bill passed the House 419-3, and the Senate 98-2 in a veto-proof majority.
Meanwhile, the Russians aren’t letting Trump have any wiggle room in to make a “tougher deal.” The New York Times reported Friday:
Russia took its first steps on Friday to retaliate against proposed American sanctions for Moscow’s suspected meddling in the 2016 election, seizing two American diplomatic properties and ordering the United States Embassy to reduce staff by September.
The Russians ordered the U.S. to reduce staff to 455 by Sept 1, which is the number of Russian diplomats in the United States.
Starting on Aug. 1, Russia will also block access to a warehouse in Moscow and to a bucolic site along the Moscow River where staff members walk their dogs and hold barbecues.
Trump has created a situation where Congress perceives he is too lenient on Russia, therefore they have moved to clip the president’s wings, restricting his ability to loosen sanctions.
“If I were giving advice to the president, which I’m not on this issue,” he began before offering some, “it’s just not a good way to start a presidency to veto something and then be soundly overridden.”
There appears to be no moves left for the president here, but plenty of moves for Russia. In chess, we call that a checkmate.