Donald Trump’s Russian sanctions disaster

Donald Trump could have had himself a rare good day yesterday. All he had to do was abide by the law and implement new sanctions against Russia. He’d have gotten positive media coverage for it. The Republicans would have held it up as evidence that he’s not a Russian puppet after all. His detractors would have had a harder time making their case. His own advisers surely told him to do it – but he didn’t. Because he can’t. Now everyone knows that he can’t.

The sanctions bill in question was passed in bipartisan and nearly unanimous fashion. Nearly every Democratic and Republican member of the House and Senate voted for it, which almost never happens with any legislation. That’s how throughly the United States wants to crack down on Russia for having rigged the election. Trump even signed the bill into law himself, rather than forcing Congress to override his veto. For a moment there it looked like he was going to do the smart thing and implement the sanctions. But he’s not allowed to play this one smartly.

As someone who wants to see Trump ousted, I’m thrilled that he refused to implement the new sanctions by yesterday’s deadline. Why? Because it makes him look guilty on Russia. This means he can’t position himself as the guy who may or may not have been helped by the Russians during the election, but who had nothing to do with it. That argument is off the table now. Everyone knows that there’s only one reason Trump is refusing to implement the sanctions: Vladimir Putin won’t let him.

This confirms everything that those paying close attention have known all along. Donald Trump is a puppet of the Russian government. Putin is holding so much over his head and threatening him with something so awful, he’d rather just admit he’s a Russian puppet than try to stand up to Putin. Thank you, Donald Trump, for helping to solidify our argument that you’re a Russian traitor. You just made your ouster easier.

Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report