Donald Trump finally signed the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act on Wednesday. This bill strengthens and expands sanctions on Russia, Iran, and North Korea. The legislation also blocks Trump from easing those sanctions for his good buddy Vladimir Putin.
Some questioned if Trump would try to use his veto power even though the bill had passed both the House and Senate with overwhelming support. Such an effort would have been futile, as there was clearly enough support to override the veto. But still, it was a possibility since nothing is ever off the table with this administration. And as time drug on (the bill landed on Trump’s desk Friday morning), we all began to wonder if Trump was actually going to sign it.
When he finally did, Senator John McCain had a brutal response that was absolutely perfect. He started by explaining what this legislation would accomplish.
“I welcome President Trump’s decision to sign legislation imposing new sanctions on Russia, Iran, and North Korea. The enactment of this legislation, which enjoyed overwhelming bipartisan support in both houses of Congress, sends a strong message to friend and foe alike that the United States will hold nations accountable for aggressive and destabilizing behavior that threatens our national interests and those of our allies and partners,” McCain wrote.
“The concerns expressed in the President’s signing statement are hardly surprising, though misplaced. The Framers of our Constitution made the Congress and the President coequal branches of government. This bill has already proven the wisdom of that choice.”
Then McCain called Trump out for his continued hypocritical support of Russia.
“While the American people surely hope for better relations with Russia, what this legislation truly represents is their insistence that Vladimir Putin and his regime must pay a real price for attacking our democracy, violating human rights, occupying Crimea, and destabilizing Ukraine. On this critical issue of national security policy, it was the Congress that acted in the spirit of national unity to carry out the will of the American people. And that is why it is critical that the President comply with the letter and spirit of this legislation and fully implement all of its provisions. Going forward, I hope the President will be as vocal about Russia’s aggressive behavior as he was about his concerns with this legislation.”
Sorry McCain, but I wouldn’t count on Trump to stand up to Putin any time soon. Our “president” has proven time and time again that he will happily choose Russia over the United States and the American people. Trump’s admiration for the Russian dictator and his murderous rule is as obvious as it is nauseating. Personally, I don’t think that is likely to change. Trump is in so deep with Putin that he couldn’t get out even if he wanted to.
Featured image via Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images