McCain: Trump's concerns with Russia sanctions bill 'misplaced'

McCain: Trump's concerns with Russia sanctions bill 'misplaced'
© Greg Nash

Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCain20 years after 9/11, US foreign policy still struggles for balance What the chaos in Afghanistan can remind us about the importance of protecting democracy at home 'The View' plans series of conservative women as temporary McCain replacements MORE (R-Ariz.) said that President Trump's concerns with the Russia sanctions legislation he signed into law Wednesday are "hardly surprising, though misplaced." 

“The concerns expressed in the president’s signing statement are hardly surprising, though misplaced," McCain said in a statement. "The Framers of our Constitution made the Congress and the president coequal branches of government. This bill has already proven the wisdom of that choice."

The Russia sanctions bill passed by a vote of 98-2 in the Senate and 419-3 in the House. Trump signed it into law earlier on Wednesday but called it "seriously flawed."

Trump said the legislation contains "a number of clearly unconstitutional provisions." It includes language allowing Congress to potentially block the president from lifting sanctions without congressional review and approval. 


McCain praised Trump for signing the bill, which passed through the House and Senate with veto-proof majorities. The bill includes sanctions against Russia for its interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and military aggression. It also sanctions Iran and North Korea. 

“While the American people surely hope for better relations with Russia, what this legislation truly represents is their insistence that [Russian President] Vladimir Putin and his regime must pay a real price for attacking our democracy, violating human rights, occupying Crimea, and destabilizing Ukraine," McCain said.

McCain commended Congress for acting "in the spirit of national unity" for the overwhelming approval of the bill. "Going forward," he said, "I hope the president will be as vocal about Russia’s aggressive behavior as he was about his concerns with this legislation.”