'This can't be real': Trump's State Dept. is getting pummeled for its 'blatantly incorrect' spin on new Russia sanctions
Rex Tillerson during his confirmation hearing (Screenshot)

The White House announced Friday that President Donald Trump would sign new sanctions on Russia.


The sanctions were passed with near-unanimous votes in the House of Representatives and Senate in response to Russia's alleged meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections and its annexation of Crimea.

But the U.S. State Department described the new sanctions as an attempt to warm up to the country.

"The near unanimous votes for the sanctions legislation in Congress represent the strong will of the American people to see Russia take steps to improve relations with the United States. We hope that there will be cooperation between our two countries on major global issues and these sanctions will no longer be necessary," the State Department said.

But the statement ignited a backlash, with many pointing out the sanctions were meant to punish Russia.

Even the government of Russia mocked the statement.

“The statement made by the @StateDept on July 29 regarding a new sanctions legislation approved by Congress cannot but raise eyebrows,” the Russian Embassy in Washington said. “Washington still doesn’t get the fact that pressure never works against @Russia, bilateral relations can hardly be improved by sanctions.”