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Congressional Sabotage Efforts Go into High Gear after Trump-Putin Meeting

July 9, 2017 (EIRNS)—Efforts within the U.S. Congress to sabotage any improvement in U.S.-Russian relations were well underway long before President Trump met with Russian President Putin on July 7 in Hamburg, Germany, but those efforts clearly ratcheted upwards after the meeting. Within hours of the meeting’s conclusion, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.) announced that he will be sponsoring an amendment to the 2018 defense authorization bill to "punish" Russia for its supposed violations of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. The amendment, entitled "Russia Arms Trade Limitation Act," would authorize sanctions on individuals who help Russia develop major weapons systems, as well as state sponsors of terrorism that buy such weapons. The Hill notes that the authorization bill already has a provision warning that if Russia violates the treaty and fails to comply within 15 months of the bill’s enactment, the United States "would no longer be legally bound by the treaty as a matter of domestic law."

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) took particular exception to Trump’s apparent acceptance of Putin’s denial of alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election, claiming that this showed that the Congress had to pass the pending Russia-Iran sanctions bill. That bill passed the Senate 98-2 but is hung up in the House over technicalities.

"Rather than decisively confronting the Russian President head on, the President seemed to acquiesce to Putin’s denial, almost certainly paving the way for future Russian interference in our elections,"

Schumer said in a statement. "It’s clear that President Trump is not willing to be the guardian of American interests when it comes to dealing with Putin."

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) has been talking about impeachment for months and declared that she will now "take the gloves off" against Trump, in an interview published by the New York Times on July 7. After the Trump-Putin meeting, she went on MSNBC to blast Trump, claiming that "America is getting played" by Trump and by Putin.