(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

New Russia Sanctions Contemplated

The Latest: No. 2 in Senate GOP eyes more Russia sanctions

July 17, 2018 - 1:06 pm
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WASHINGTON (AP) — The No. 2 Senate Republican says there may be additional sanctions on Russia in the upheaval following President Donald Trump's summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Sen. John Cornyn of Texas told reporters that sanctions might draw bipartisan support because Democrats have also backed the idea. "We could find common ground to turn the screws on Russia," Cornyn said.

Cornyn suggested sanctions legislation as an alternative to plans for a resolution supporting the intelligence community's findings that Russia interfered in the 2016 election.

A resolution —as some in the House are suggesting— is "just some messaging exercise," said Cornyn.

No votes are scheduled yet as lawmakers are consider various ways to respond after Trump, at the summit, suggested he believed the Russian president's denials of election interference, rather than the findings of the U.S. intelligence agencies.

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Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer is calling for immediate hearings with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other top officials to learn more about President Donald Trump's private meeting on Monday with Russian President Vladimir Putin (POO'-tihn).

Schumer says the American people deserve to know what, if anything, Trump promised Putin during the two-hour sitdown in Helsinki that included just the two leaders and their interpreters. Additional meetings later included senior aides to both men.

Schumer said Trump showed "abject weakness and sycophancy" in failing to condemn Russian interference in the 2016 election. He said Trump's public remarks make it even more important to learn what happened behind closed doors, calling it a matter of national security.

Schumer also urged the Senate to take up bipartisan bills boosting security of U.S. elections.

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House Speaker Paul Ryan says he's willing to consider additional sanctions on Russia, but there's no rush to act.

Ryan had pointedly reminded President Donald Trump on Monday "that Russia is not our ally," after Trump cast doubt on U.S. intelligence findings of election meddling by Vladimir Putin's operatives.

On Tuesday, Ryan underscored that Russia did interfere in the 2016 elections and is a "menacing government" that does not share U.S. values. He said Special Counsel Robert Mueller should be allowed to finish his investigation.

But the Republican leader did not suggest the House will be responding legislatively any time soon.

"Let's be very clear just so everybody knows: Russia did meddle with our elections," Ryan said. "What we intend to do is make sure they don't get away with it again and also to help our allies."

 

                                       Copyright 2018 The Associated Press.