President Trump intends to sign a bill that will place new sanctions against Russia, Iran, and North Korea, the White House announced on Friday.
The bill, which passed the Senate and House with overwhelming majorities this week and was sent to the White House on Friday, will not only place new sanctions against the three countries, but it will prohibit Trump from unilaterally easing sanctions against Moscow.
Trump read drafts of the bill and negotiated elements of it before agreeing to sign it, the White House said in a statement.
The White House had not given a clear answer this week about whether Trump would sign the bill or veto it. But vote tallies in the House and Senate — 419-3 and 98-2, respectively — meant that a Trump veto would have likely been overridden.
Any veto attempt would have created a political firestorm for Trump given the ongoing investigations into whether members of his campaign colluded with the Russian government during the presidential campaign.
The sanctions bill penalizes Russia over its meddling in the election as well as its actions in Syria and Ukraine. Trump has been reluctant to accept the CIA, FBI and National Security Agency assessment that Russia was behind the release of emails hacked from the Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign.
Trump has said he believes that Russia was “probably” involved.