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US senators to again try to pass Russia sanctions bill

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U.S. Republican and Democratic senators on Wednesday will introduce a bill seeking to punish Russia for meddling in U.S. elections and for its aggression in Ukraine by imposing sanctions on its banking, energy sector and foreign debt.

The bill will be introduced by Republican Senator Lindsey Graham and Democratic Senator Bob Menendez and is a tougher version of the one the two lawmakers backed last year but which failed to pass, Menendez’s office said. The bill has been seen by Reuters.

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Among other things, it would impose sanctions on Russian banks that support efforts to interfere in foreign elections, sanction Russian liquefied natural gas projects outside of Russia, sanction the country’s cyber sector, impose sanctions on new sovereign debt and sanction individuals deemed to “facilitate illicit and corrupt activities, directly or indirectly, on behalf of (Russian President Vladimir) Putin.”

The bill would have to pass Congress and be signed by President Donald Trump before becoming law. Trump has gone along with increasing sanctions on Russia, though sometimes reluctantly.

U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election and Moscow’s possible collusion with the Trump campaign. Russia has denied interfering in the election and Trump has called Mueller’s probe a witch hunt.

Menendez, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said Congress wanted action to respond to the humanitarian disaster in Syria, where Russia backs President Bashar al-Assad, Moscow’s aggression in Ukraine “and the steady erosion of international norms.”

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“One thing is increasingly clear: Moscow will continue to push until it meets genuine resistance,” Menendez told Reuters.

Graham, a leading Republican congressional foreign policy voice is a Trump ally who called last year’s legislation “the sanctions bill from hell.” He said he was determined to send a strong message to Moscow.

“Our goal is to change the status quo and impose meaningful sanctions and measures against Putin’s Russia,” Graham said in an email to Reuters. “He should cease and desist meddling in the U.S. electoral process, halt cyberattacks on American infrastructure, remove Russia from Ukraine, and stop efforts to create chaos in Syria.”

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Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Additional reporting by Timothy Gardner; Editing by Paul Simao

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Trump blindsided after Macron ‘covertly’ invites Iran Foreign Minister Zarif to G7 summit for talks: report

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According to a report from the Washington Post, President Donald Trump and his staff were "blindsided" when Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif made a surprise visit to the G7 summit, reportedly as part of a "covert invitation" from French President Emmanuel Macron.

The report states that Zarif engaged in conversation with his French counterpart, Jean-Yves Le Dria, without the knowledge of anyone from the White House and that Trump himself was not aware of the meeting until a reporter asked him about it.

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MSNBC panel rips media for giving Trump rejects a second act: ‘There are still children in cages as we speak’

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An MSNBC panel on Sunday mocked the ABC reality show Dancing with the Stars for casting former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer.

MSNBC host Joy Reid wondered why so many former Trump administration officials are being hired for "second acts."

"You've got Sean Spicer on Dancing with the Stars," guest Jason Johnson said. "I didn't know you could dance without a spine."

"It's all a hustle," he continued. "I don't believe any of them. I don't believe Scaramucci. I don't believe Omarosa. I don't believe any of them. They are just the kind of foul, racist supporting people that they were with this administration."

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Lindsey Graham ripped for telling Americans to ‘accept the pain’ from Trump’s trade war: ‘Tell that to the farmers’

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Appearing  with CBS’s Margaret Brennan on “Face the Nation" on Sunday morning, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told viewers they will start to see increases in products coming from China -- despite Donald Trump saying the Chinese will abord the costs of his tariffs -- and that they need to suck it up and "accept the pain."

As Graham explained it, "The Democrats for years have been claiming that China should be stood up to. Now Trump is, and we just got to accept the pain that comes with standing up to China. How do you get China to change without creating some pain on them and us? I don’t know.”

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