AP Fact Checks Democrats on Russian Sanctions: They ‘Didn’t Wait to Assemble the Facts’
The Associated Press has a rather unsparing fact check of Democrats today in response to how a number of them reacted to reports about adjustments in Russian sanctions.
The easing of sanctions on FSB, Russia’s intelligence and security agency, led to quite the reaction from a number of Democrats:
Just ask yourself, if Putin really was pulling the strings of the White House, wouldn't this be exactly how it all played out? https://t.co/xYmGWNpbao
— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) February 2, 2017
— Nancy Pelosi (@NancyPelosi) February 2, 2017
Anyone who thinks Trump will put America first isn't paying attention. Trump just told the world it's open season on American democracy. https://t.co/QBlUc2rC56
— Jim McGovern (@RepMcGovern) February 2, 2017
Putin tells Russian security to disrupt US election➔Pres Trump gives them a thank you gift-What do they have on him? https://t.co/ZeTAdhbq3h
— Paul Tonko (@RepPaulTonko) February 3, 2017
— Bill Pascrell, Jr. (@BillPascrell) February 2, 2017
— Rep. Eric Swalwell (@RepSwalwell) February 2, 2017
The AP fact-checked all this with a rather blunt lede:
Democrats didn’t wait to assemble the facts before they accused President Donald Trump of rewarding “thugs” in the Russian intelligence service by lifting certain sanctions. The facts don’t support them.
Democrats in particular are incensed at alleged Russian hacking of their party’s communications in the campaign. And lawmakers from both parties have been watching for a sign that Trump will try to ease Obama’s Russian sanctions in a consequential way, given his cozy rhetoric about Putin during and after the campaign. This isn’t it.
And as Reuters noted yesterday, former Obama White House officials agreed with the sentiment that it was just a “technical fix”:
The U.S. Treasury Department on Thursday adjusted sanctions on Russian intelligence agency FSB, making limited exceptions to the measures put in place by former President Barack Obama over accusations Moscow tried to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election with cyber attacks on political organizations.
The department said in a statement it would allow U.S. companies to make limited transactions with FSB that are needed to gain approval to import information technology products into Russia…
Sanctions experts and former Obama administration officials stressed the exceptions to the sanctions imposed in December do not signal a broader shift in Russia policy.
[image via screengrab]
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