Arizona Senator John McCain is warning the new president, Donald Trump, to refrain from making any impetuous decisions to lift Russian sanctions. McCain threatened that he would do what he had to with the help of Congress to reinstate the sanctions as law.
On Friday McCain said:
‘For the sake of America’s national security and that of our allies, I hope President Trump will put an end to this speculation and reject such a reckless course. If he does not, I will work with my colleagues to codify sanctions against Russia into law.’
On Saturday Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin have a scheduled phone conference to speak for the first time following his inauguration last week.
Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s top adviser, reported to Fox News Friday morning that there is discussion regarding Moscow’s sanctions being lifted. Any attempt made to lift sanctions would ignite a fire on Capitol Hill.
McCain and Maryland Senator Ben Cardin, along with a group of other Senators earlier this month, announced new sanctions against Russia and reinforced Obama-era penalties. McCain also mentioned the failed attempts of the previous three presidents at strengthening the relationship between Russia and the United States, mostly due to Putin wanting to remain an enemy.
‘[Trump] should remember that the man on the other end of the line is a murderer and a thug who seeks to undermine American national security interests at every turn. For our commander-in-chief to think otherwise would be naïve and dangerous.’
Trump’s friendly approach with Moscow has raised eyebrows throughout the presidential campaign — with Florida Senator Marco Rubio interrogating Rex Tillerson, who was nominated for State Department leader — regarding his stance on lifting Russian sanctions.
On Friday McCain gave reasoning for why Trump should refuse to ease the sanctions –- Moscow’s support for the Presidesnt of Syria, Bashar Assad, invading Ukraine, and Putin’s request for NATO to lessen its presence in eastern Europe.
‘In just the last three years under Vladimir Putin, Russia has invaded Ukraine, annexed Crimea, threatened NATO allies, and intervened militarily in Syria, leaving a trail of death, destruction, and broken promises in his wake.’
The intelligence department of the U.S. has repeatedly accused Russia of hacking the Democratic National Committee during the 2016 presidential election, leading to irreparable damage. A publicized report mentioned that the Kremlin intentionally intervened with the election in order for Donald Trump to win. Of course Russian leaders have denied any responsibility or knowledge of the incident. Trump originally blew off the conclusions that the intelligence committee had drawn for weeks following the election. But, earlier this month he admitted Moscow was likely responsible for hacking the Democratic Party, but Trump, of course, still maintained that it wouldn’t have happened if their data had been secure.
Throughout the entire campaign Trump spoke highly of Russia and longed for our two countries to repair their relationship. His main opponent Hillary Clinton, who represented the Democratic Party, despised Putin and wasn’t shy in hiding her criticism of him.