President Trump may veto the Russia sanctions bill and “be tougher” on Russia than Congress, newly appointed White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci said Thursday in an interview with CNN.
“He may decide to veto the sanctions and be tougher on the Russians than the Congress,” Scaramucci told CNN’s Chris Cuomo on “New Day.”
“He may sign the sanctions exactly the way they are or he may veto the sanctions and negotiate an even tougher deal against the Russians,” he continued.
The White House has given conflicting signals on Trump's plans for the sanctions bill, would would curb the president's ability to lift sanctions imposed by the Obama administration on Russia without Congress's consent.
The bill, which also includes sanctions on North Korea and Iran, was widely seen as a shot at the White House from Congress.
The vote margins in the House and Senate suggest lawmakers could override a presidential veto if Trump tosses aside the legislation.
In the House, only three Republican lawmakers voted against the bill: Reps. Justin AmashJustin AmashDemocrats defend Afghan withdrawal amid Taliban advance Vietnam shadow hangs over Biden decision on Afghanistan Kamala Harris and our shameless politics MORE (Mich.), John Duncan Jr. (Tenn.) and Thomas Massie (Ky.).
In the Senate, the initial vote was 98-2. The Senate now plans to approve the House version of the bill, which includes a North Korea provision added in the House, under an agreement finalized Wednesday.
Trump expressed a desire on the campaign trail in 2016 to better U.S. relations with Russia.
On Wednesday, before the final Senate-House deal, the White House said Trump would be reviewing the legislation.
"While the president supports tough sanctions on North Korea, Iran and Russia, the White House is reviewing the House legislation and awaits a final legislative package for the president’s desk," White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said at a press briefing.