On Wednesday, Politico’s Melanie Zanona outlined a key reason why Congress is unlikely to take action in the wake of reports that Russia paid bounties to kill U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
One of the main reasons: Congress already handed the relevant authority to do so to the White House.
“Even if Congress chooses to act, they’ve already given the Trump administration many of the tools it can use to punish the Kremlin, namely the authority to impose biting sanctions,” wrote Zanona. “‘I’m interested in hearing an administration speak clearly about their plans that aren’t just hypothetical sanctions sometime out in the future, but what should we be doing now to make the GRU have more doubts about their behavior not just in Afghanistan, but more broadly across the globe,’ said Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), an Intelligence Committee member.”
Trump, however, has not acted in the wake of the reports, continuing to ask for favors for Russia like readmission into the G7. He insists that he wasn’t briefed on the matter, although sources have reported it was included in a Presidential Daily Briefing in the spring.