Trump Just Pulled a Move on Russia That’ll Leave All of His Critics BAFFLED

It’s hard to call President Trump the “Russian puppet” when he’s harder on Russia than any other president.

So, what will the Democrats and our fake news media say now, after President Trump just slapped Russia with sanctions?

From Washington Examiner

President Trump is imposing new sanctions on Russia in response to the use of a chemical weapon in an assassination attempt that took place on British soil, the State Department announced Wednesday.

“[T]he United States, on Aug. 6, 2018, determined under the Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991 (CBW Act) that the Government of the Russian Federation has used chemical or biological weapons in violation of international law or has used lethal chemical or biological weapons against its own nationals,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in an afternoon bulletin.

Trump’s decision restricts Russia’s access to U.S. government financing and foreign aid, and bans the export of national security technology to Russia. The decision sets the table for a more aggressive round of sanctions in November, including moves to desire Russia of international financing and to downgrade diplomatic relations.

“These goods are currently subject to a case-by-case license determination,” a senior State Department official told reporters Wednesday. “When these sanctions go into effect, we will be presumptively denying these applications.”

That shift could hamper “a very broad sweep” of Russian companies and workers, especially state-owned entities.

“It is possible that the trade affected could reach potentially hundreds of millions of dollars,” the senior State Department official projected. “Historically, something upwards of 50 percent of Commerce Department licenses for Russia have included at least one national security controlled item, so this is a non-trivial set of stuff.”

The sanctions maneuver arises from a March attack on a former Russian military intelligence officer who had worked as a double agent on behalf of the United Kingdom. The officer, Sergei Skripal, was released to British authorities in 2010 as part of a spy swap with Russia. British Prime Minister Theresa May accused Russia of using “a military-grade nerve agent” to take revenge for his previous treachery.

“This represents an unlawful use of force by the Russian State against the United Kingdom,” May told British lawmakers in March.

Russian officials have denied responsibility for the attack, which also affected Skripal’s niece, Yulia, and accused the United Kingdom of staging the incident.

“Unless we receive convincing proof of the opposite, we will regard this incident as an attempt on the life of Russian citizens as part of a large-scale political provocation,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in response.

The decision to impose the sanctions was finalized just weeks after President Trump’s summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland. Putin’s team has pointed to congressional sanctions as a sign that American leaders are undermining Trump’s ability to foster U.S.-Russia relations; the State Department dismissed the suggestion that punishment for the Skripal incident is in tension with Trump’s hopes.

“This is a question not of Russia policy per se, but of implementing laws that Congress has put in play,” the senior State Department official said. “We are tough on Russia; and, at the same time, we are quite committed to working to maintain relations, because there are important things at stake here.”

Skripal and his niece survived the attack, but another pair of British citizens were exposed to the chemical weapon, apparently by accident, in July. One woman died.

“If chemical weapons can appear in a small English town, where might they start appearing next?” Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said in April. “None of us will be immune from this threat unless we immediately start rebuilding our consensus against chemical weapons.”

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