Politics

Trump Again Lashes Out at Congress Over Russia Sanctions

U.S. president sees relations with Moscow at ‘dangerous’ low point

Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with President Donald Trump at a G-20 summit in Germany. Trump is blaming Congress for what he calls an "all time" low in U.S.-Russia relations. (Wikimedia Commons)

Lashing out at Congress yet again, President Donald Trump blamed the 517 lawmakers who voted for a bill he signed Wednesday slapping new sanctions on Russia for what he calls a “dangerous low” in U.S.-Kremlin relations.

Trump used a morning tweet, after laying off his post-dawn social media blasts for two days, to continue his days-long Twitter assault on members of Congress — including his fellow Republicans — amid signs of growing intra-party tensions as the forced marriage strains under an unproductive legislative session.

Trump began Thursday with several benign tweets, then went after lawmakers again, writing that Washington’s “relationship with Russia is at an all-time & very dangerous low.”

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev characterized the sanctions bill as a humiliating defeat for the U.S. president, saying it ended hopes of improved relations between the two countries and amounted to a declaration of a trade war.

He then told his 35.1 million Twitter followers where they should assign the blame for that: “You can thank Congress, the same people that can’t even give us HCare!”

The latter part of the tweet was his latest shot at Senate Republicans over their failure to secure the 50 votes needed to pass a health care overhaul bill and move to a conference with the House to work on a final version he could have signed into law.

In recent days, the Senate GOP caucus, from leaders to backbenchers, have ignored Trump’s calls for them to vote again on a health bill — and some senior Republican senators have been more candid in expressing their frustration with what they call the “chaos” in Trump’s White House that they feel is hindering the party’s legislative efforts.

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The president clearly is irritated with members of his own party. Over the weekend, he said they “look foolish” because they could not pass major legislation and called them “quitters” for not teeing up a health bill before starting their August recess.

Trump’s Thursday morning Twitter attack came after he fired off no incendiary posts on Tuesday and Wednesday, the first two full days of John Kelly’s tenure as White House chief of staff. GOP lawmakers have expressed hope that the retired Marine Corps four-star general might bring order to the Trump operation and even tone down the boss.

It held for a bit. But Wednesday night, the president resumed his longtime Twitter habit, firing off a tweet taking umbrage with a coming Sports Illustrated article that will report he told members at his Bedminster, N.J., golf club that the White House is a “dump,” according to Golf Magazine.

The president declared his “love” for the executive mansion, calling it one of the most beautiful homes he has “ever seen.” The SI piece, he tweeted, was “TOTALLY UNTRUE.”

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