Donald Trump Changes His Mind on Russia Sanctions

Luiz Rampelotto/Europanewswire/DPA via ZUMA

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Wut?

President Trump on Monday put the brakes on a preliminary plan to impose additional economic sanctions on Russia, walking back a Sunday announcement by U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley that the Kremlin had swiftly denounced ss “international economic raiding.”…Trump conferred with his national security advisers later Sunday and told them he was upset the sanctions were being officially rolled out because he was not yet comfortable executing them, according to several people familiar with the plan.

Officially, Haley “misspoke.” In reality, she obviously did nothing of the sort. So what happened?

Some officials said the misunderstanding could have been the result of Haley’s tendency to speak directly with the president, sometimes outside of the normal policy process. “She’ll usually talk to the president without the rest of the White House and get her remarks cleared directly,” said the administration official. “Often we don’t know about them.”

So in this administration, talking directly to the president is likely to lead to remarks that the president doesn’t like. This is presumably because:

  1. The president changes his mind about what he likes on an hourly basis.
  2. The president freewheels about stuff without knowing what it means.
  3. The president is too consumed with the Mueller investigation to care about anything else.
  4. The president is a moron.
  5. All of the above.

Take your pick.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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