Donald Trump Changes His Mind on Russia Sanctions

Luiz Rampelotto/Europanewswire/DPA via ZUMA

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Wut?

President Trump on Monday put the brakes on a preliminary plan to impose additional economic sanctions on Russia, walking back a Sunday announcement by U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley that the Kremlin had swiftly denounced ss “international economic raiding.”…Trump conferred with his national security advisers later Sunday and told them he was upset the sanctions were being officially rolled out because he was not yet comfortable executing them, according to several people familiar with the plan.

Officially, Haley “misspoke.” In reality, she obviously did nothing of the sort. So what happened?

Some officials said the misunderstanding could have been the result of Haley’s tendency to speak directly with the president, sometimes outside of the normal policy process. “She’ll usually talk to the president without the rest of the White House and get her remarks cleared directly,” said the administration official. “Often we don’t know about them.”

So in this administration, talking directly to the president is likely to lead to remarks that the president doesn’t like. This is presumably because:

  1. The president changes his mind about what he likes on an hourly basis.
  2. The president freewheels about stuff without knowing what it means.
  3. The president is too consumed with the Mueller investigation to care about anything else.
  4. The president is a moron.
  5. All of the above.

Take your pick.

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FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

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