Trump mulls new Turkey sanctions over Russian missile system

Trump mulls new Turkey sanctions over Russian missile system
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP divided over impeachment trial strategy Official testifies that Bolton had 'one-on-one meeting' with Trump over Ukraine aid Louisiana governor wins re-election MORE on Thursday said that he has not yet decided on whether to impose congressionally mandated sanctions on Turkey over the NATO ally’s possession of a Russian-produced missile air defense system.

“We’re looking at it, and see what we do. We haven’t announced that yet,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office. 

Lawmakers have urged Trump to impose sanctions on Turkey since Friday, when the country took delivery of the Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile defense system.

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The sanctions would fall under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, which penalizes U.S. partners that buy Russian military equipment.

The administration on Wednesday officially removed Turkey from the F-35 fighter jet program in retaliation for the S-400 purchase, releasing a statement that said the advanced stealth fighter jet “cannot coexist with a Russian intelligence collection platform that will be used to learn about its advanced capabilities.”

But Trump up until Thursday has been quiet on possible sanctions.

He again blamed the Obama administration for the situation, saying that it “made some very big mistakes with regard to Turkey.”

Trump on Tuesday incorrectly claimed that the previous administration would not sell Ankara the U.S.-developed Patriot air and missile defense system, driving the country to instead buy the S-400.

Both administrations, however, have tried to sell Turkey the Patriot over other foreign systems, but Ankara rejected the offers as Washington refused to include the system’s sensitive missile technology.