McConnell 'open' to new Russia sanctions
© Greg Nash

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell expects Paul to return to Senate next week Former Hill staff calls for mandatory harassment training Gaming the odds of any GOP tax bill getting signed into law MORE (R-Ky.) said Friday that he would be open to passing new sanctions against Russia if they get bipartisan support.  

"If [the administration] feel they need additional sanctions, or we can come up with something that seems to enjoy bipartisan support, I'd be open to it," McConnell said when asked if he would support additional sanctions on Russia. 
 
McConnell added that he would "willing to talk" to Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerTax Foundation: Senate reform bill would cost 6B GOP senators raise concerns over tax plan Dem House candidate apologizes for saying it 'shouldn't take brain cancer' for McCain to show courage MORE (R-Tenn.) about additional sanctions over Russian President Vladimir Putin's continued support for the Assad regime in Syria. 
 
"I think it's certainly good that the administration's not lifted any of the existing sanctions," McConnell told reporters. "The Russians are not our friends. I think they've demonstrated that over and over and over again." 
 
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A bipartisan group of senators — including Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCainJohn Sidney McCainGOP rushes to cut ties to Moore GOP strategist: 'There needs to be a repudiation' of Roy Moore by Republicans World leaders reach agreement on trade deal without United States: report MORE (R-Ariz.) and Foreign Relations Committee ranking member Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinFacebook farce shows lawmaker deviousness, demagoguery Dem senator wants details on Manafort's multiple passports US backs out of global oil anti-corruption effort MORE (D-Md.) — introduced new sanctions against Russia earlier this year. 
 
 
Corker said earlier this year that he is working on his own Russia bill, but signaled that it would be broader than other legislation. 
 
Senators have grappled with how to respond to Russia over its meddling in the presidential election as well as its ongoing military efforts in Ukraine and support for Assad in Syria. The Senate Intelligence Committee is also conducting a review of Russia's election interference.
  
Senators introduced legislation earlier this year to prevent Trump from lifting any Russia sanctions tied election meddling or Ukraine without oversight from Congress. 
 
Asked whether lifting some sanctions was on the table, senior White House counselor Kellyanne Conway told Fox News earlier this year that "all of that is under consideration," but Trump separately has called the speculation premature. 
 
McConnell also said earlier this year that Trump should not lift existing sanctions against Moscow.