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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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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