To strike good deals for the American people

Trump reluctantly signed the Russia sanctions bill.

Trump’s reluctant signing of the legislation came nearly a week after it was approved by an overwhelming, bipartisan majority in the Senate and after a similarly large majority in the House. The president issued two statements outlining his concerns with the bill, which he called “seriously flawed,” primarily because it limits his ability to negotiate sanctions without congressional approval.

“By limiting the Executive’s flexibility, this bill makes it harder for the United States to strike good deals for the American people, and will drive China, Russia, and North Korea much closer together,” Trump said in a statement on Wednesday morning.

“Deals” – as if they’re arguing over the price of a set of golf clubs Trump want to sell on eBay.

The signing statement, long a controversial tool of president, expresses the president’s concern with legislation but it does nothing to halt or amend it. The president had the ability to veto it, but it would likely have been overridden by majorities in Congress.

Bush junior used those extensively by way of saying he was going to ignore the legislation – hence the “controversial” label.

Lawmakers’ solidarity in tying Trump’s hands on this issue reflects a deepening concern about the administration’s posture toward Russia, which critics have characterized as naive. The new Russia sanctions expand on measures taken by the Obama administration to punish the Kremlin for its alleged efforts to interfere in the 2016 election. But Trump has continued to doubt that Russia was responsible and he has called the investigations in Congress and by the special counsel into Russian meddling a “witch hunt.”

Is it naïve, or is it corrupt, or is it blackmailed?

Trump said that he signed the bill despite his reservations for the sake of “national unity.” In a second statement accompanying his signing of the legislation, Trump called some of the provisions in the legislation “clearly unconstitutional.”

Trump of course has no clue what’s constitutional and what isn’t.

According to constitutional law experts, Congress rightfully asserted its own constitutional powers to serve as a check on the executive branch, even on matters of national security.

Constitutional and national security expert Michael Glennon from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy said that Trump’s statement was “gross misreading” of the case law he cited in his signing statement to bolster his claim that the congressional review provision had unconstitutionally robbed him of the power to negotiate.
“That’s obviously a misguided interpretation of his constitutional authority,” Glennon said. “Congress has very broad authority over foreign commerce — it’s explicitly given the power to regulate commerce with foreign nations.
“It could have, if it desired, imposed those sanctions without giving the president any waiver authority whatsoever,” he added.
Well ok but Trump is president and you’re not.

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