Donald Trump’s signing of any bill, whether actual legislation or ceremonial, is usually accompanied by a lot of fanfare.
Today, the “president” signed the Russia sanctions bill that has been sitting on his desk for over a week. The bill was based with bipartisan support in both houses of Congress. In fact the bill was veto-proof, meaning that Trump couldn’t override the bill because of the overwhelming vote in Congress.
The bill aims to further punish Russia for their meddling in the 2016 election. Something that Trump has been slow to admit happened because he thinks its takes away from his victory of the Electoral College (he lost the popular vote by 3 million).
So instead of cameras and a flurry of tweets touting the signing, Trump had the White House send out a statement saying the bill was flawed. Basically crying that the mean Congress made him sign the bill to punish Russia.
But in a statement outlining his concerns, Trump called the bill “seriously flawed,” primarily because it limits his ability to negotiate sanctions without Congressional approval.
“By limiting the Executive’s flexibility, this bill makes it harder for the United States to strike good deals for the American people, and will drive China, Russia, and North Korea much closer together,” Trump said in a statement on Wednesday morning. “The Framers of our Constitution put foreign affairs in the hands of the President.”
“This bill will prove the wisdom of that choice,” he added.
White House officials said that the president signed the measure on Wednesday morning, nearly a week after it was passed by the Senate with a veto-proof majority. The bill was also approved in the House last week by an overwhelming bipartisan majority.
Trump said that he signed the bill, despite his reservations, for the sake of “national unity.” In a second statement accompanying his signing of the legislation, Trump called some of the provisions in the legislation “clearly unconstitutional.”
And he questioned Congress’ ability to negotiate sanctions based on their inability to approve the Republicans’ health care legislation.
“The bill remains seriously flawed – particularly because it encroaches on the executive branch’s authority to negotiate,” Trump said. “Congress could not even negotiate a healthcare bill after seven years of talking.” – Washington Post
Here’s is Trump full statement on why he is so mad about punishing Russia.
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
August 02, 2017
Statement by President Donald J. Trump on the Signing of H.R. 3364
Today, I have signed into law H.R. 3364, the “Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act.” While I favor tough measures to punish and deter aggressive and destabilizing behavior by Iran, North Korea, and Russia, this legislation is significantly flawed.
In its haste to pass this legislation, the Congress included a number of clearly unconstitutional provisions. For instance, although I share the policy views of sections 253 and 257, those provisions purport to displace the President’s exclusive constitutional authority to recognize foreign governments, including their territorial bounds, in conflict with the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Zivotofsky v. Kerry.
Additionally, section 216 seeks to grant the Congress the ability to change the law outside the constitutionally required process. The bill prescribes a review period that precludes the President from taking certain actions. Certain provisions in section 216, however, conflict with the Supreme Court’s decision in INS v. Chadha, because they purport to allow the Congress to extend the review period through procedures that do not satisfy the requirements for changing the law under Article I, section 7 of the Constitution. I nevertheless expect to honor the bill’s extended waiting periods to ensure that the Congress will have a full opportunity to avail itself of the bill’s review procedures.
Further, certain provisions, such as sections 254 and 257, purport to direct my subordinates in the executive branch to undertake certain diplomatic initiatives, in contravention of the President’s exclusive constitutional authority to determine the time, scope, and objectives of international negotiations. And other provisions, such as sections 104, 107, 222, 224, 227, 228, and 234, would require me to deny certain individuals entry into the United States, without an exception for the President’s responsibility to receive ambassadors under Article II, section 3 of the Constitution. My Administration will give careful and respectful consideration to the preferences expressed by the Congress in these various provisions and will implement them in a manner consistent with the President’s constitutional authority to conduct foreign relations.
Finally, my Administration particularly expects the Congress to refrain from using this flawed bill to hinder our important work with European allies to resolve the conflict in Ukraine, and from using it to hinder our efforts to address any unintended consequences it may have for American businesses, our friends, or our allies.
DONALD J. TRUMP
THE WHITE HOUSE
August 2, 2017.