The art of the tough

On the other hand, the chickenshit Republicans refused to tell Trump no he can’t lift sanctions on Oleg Deripaska.

Senate Republicans on Wednesday narrowly staved off an effort by Democrats to deal the Trump administration’s Russia sanctions policy an embarrassing rebuke.

Eleven Republicans joined Democrats in a vote to enforce sanctions against the corporate empire of an influential ally of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, but the effort fell three votes short of the 60-vote threshold required to advance the measure. The vote was 57-42, with one Democratic senator not voting.

Nothing at all corrupt about it though. No no no, perish the thought.

Democrats had urged the administration to delay its decision on the fate of the sanctions until the conclusion of the investigation by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, into Russian meddling on behalf of Mr. Trump in the 2016 election, and whether Mr. Trump’s team assisted the Russians. Mr. Deripaska has emerged as a bit character in the story lines around the investigation as a result of his relationship with Paul Manafort, Mr. Trump’s former campaign chairman, who has been convicted and pleaded guilty to charges brought by Mr. Mueller’s team.

The sanctions were announced by the Treasury Department last April on Mr. Deripaska, his companies and those of other Russian oligarchs in retaliation for the Russian meddling in the presidential election. The announcement was touted as evidence that the administration was taking a tough stance against Moscow.

Tough stance! Tough stance! Very tough! Toughest stance in history ever, by very tough guy, being very tough!

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