Senate Overwhelmingly Sends Russia Sanctions Bill to Trump’s Desk

The White House has sent mixed signals over whether Trump will sign it

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said President Donald Trump’s refusal to recognize Russian interference in the 2016 election affected the sanctions bill. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate on Thursday passed 98-2 a bill to impose new sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea. 

The White House, which has been plagued for months over a federal investigation into possible collusion between President Donald Trump’s campaign and the Russian government, has sent mixed signals over whether Trump would sign the legislation. 

Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations committee, however, said he was confident the president would enact the bill into law. 

“I’ve gotten no indications that they are considering vetoing it. They can count, they understand math and I just can’t imagine they are considering doing so,” he told reporter. “If I were advising them, to even consider vetoing something with this support is not probably in anybody’s interest.“ 

When asked whether the Senate was prepared to override a veto, Corker said he thinks “the House and Senate both have spoken very strongly about how they feel about this piece of legislation.”

Trump has largely resisted acknowledging the claims of the intelligence community that Russia interfered in the 2016 election, which Corker said helped to influence the bill.  

“The lack of strong statements in that regard probably affected the outcome on this piece of legislation,” he said.  

The passage of the bill caps off weeks of finger-pointing between Democrats and Republicans in both chambers. House Democrats said the GOP was purposely delaying consideration of the bill, an accusation Republicans denied. 

The House on Tuesday passed the bill 419-3. 

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