Fresh off his successful measure to block the Trump administration from lifting sanctions on a Russian oligarch, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) announced that he only needs a few more Republicans to defect to make the move even stronger.
Schumer told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow he was “pleasantly surprised” when 11 of his Republican colleagues joined Democrats in voting to block the Treasury Department’s lifting of sanctions on businesses linked to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, a figure linked to both Vladimir Putin and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.
“We’re only two votes away from telling Vladimir Putin he can’t run the show here in the United States, no matter what the Trump Administration does,” the ranking Democrat said.
He added that his GOP colleagues must join Democrats in reaching a 60-vote majority to make the rebuke stronger.
“On the floor today [Senate Majority] Leader McConnell said, ‘Putin is a thug,'” the ranking Democrat said. “I believe that, if you believe that, if our Republican friends believe that, they should be voting with us, not just the 11 but more — McConnell himself.”