Mnuchin says more Russia sanctions are coming

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Wednesday the Trump administration is "actively working" on imposing sanctions...

Posted: Feb 14, 2018 11:16 PM
Updated: Feb 14, 2018 11:16 PM

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Wednesday the Trump administration is "actively working" on imposing sanctions on Russia over its interference in the 2016 US election.

"We are actively working on Russia sanctions coming out of the classified briefing," Mnuchin told lawmakers on the Senate Finance Committee, where he was testifying on the President's 2019 budget.

The secretary has come under repeated fire by Democrats for the administration's failure to implement an overwhelmingly bipartisan measure that gives Treasury new authorities to impose sanctions on Russia.

"I can assure you those sanctions are coming," Mnuchin said. "We are working on them as we speak."

The Trump administration didn't levy a single sanction on Jan. 29, the first day it could have under the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act. That day, anyone doing business with certain Russian intelligence and military entities, including arms manufacturers, faced possible penalties.

The act, drawn up by lawmakers for the express purpose of punishing Russia for its election interference, also required the Treasury Department to report to Congress with a list of powerful and wealthy Russians close to Vladimir Putin, with a view to targeting the Russian president's powerful allies. Treasury was also required to assemble a classified, more detailed version of the oligarchs list.

The State Department has said it considered Jan. 29 a starting point, not a deadline to impose sanctions, and that it would take time to see whether other countries, including close US allies, are indeed weaning themselves off military contracts with the blacklisted Russian suppliers.

No timelines for sanctions

Like Mnuchin, State Department officials have offered no timelines.

Democratic senators pressed the treasury secretary on why Trump had yet to publicly call for penalties against Russia following its meddling -- and if Trump had directed Mnuchin to take further action.

"Has the President of the United States asked you to impose sanctions on Russia?" Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Missouri Democrat, asked at the hearing. "I want to know if he asked you. I've never heard the President of the United States say a bad word about Russia. Ever."

Mnuchin said the President never had to directly ask him, because he had pre-emptively briefed Trump on his plans following the completion of Treasury's report to Congress at the end of January.

"He didn't have to ask me, because I've updated the President," said Mnuchin. "I told him we would be doing sanctions against Russia and he was pleased to hear that."

The tense exchange with lawmakers comes a day after US intelligence chiefs warned "there should be no doubt" that Russia sees the 2018 US election as a target.

On Tuesday, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and the other top national security officials told the Senate Intelligence Committee that they still view Moscow as a threat to the 2018 elections.

"We expect Russia to continue using propaganda, social media, false-flag personas, sympathetic spokesmen and other means to influence, to try to build on its wide range of operations and exacerbate social and political fissures in the United States," Coats said at a hearing on worldwide threats.

"There should be no doubt that Russia perceives its past efforts as successful and views the 2018 US midterm elections as a potential target for Russian influence operations," he said.

Mnuchin didn't offer any specific timing on when Treasury would take action, but he indicated sanctions were coming soon.

The secretary has previously disputed claims that the Trump administration has punted on moving forward with fresh sanctions against Russia, saying it did "not waive or delay."

He told senators late last month that the classified version of the report would be the basis for more sanctions in the "near future."

Treasury met its statutory deadline in providing to Congress a list of every senior member of the political administration at the Kremlin and every Russian oligarch with a net worth of $1 billion or more. But the list came under criticism as it closely mirrored one assembled by Forbes Magazine that cataloged Russia's richest people.

The list included 114 senior political figures with close ties to Putin, including his chief spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

An additional 96 oligarchs with net worths of $1 billion or more were also publicly named in the report. They included the aluminum magnate Oleg Deripaska, Chelsea football club owner Roman Abramovich and the media and tech magnate Alisher Usmanov.

Terre Haute
Partly Cloudy
70° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 70°
Robinson
Partly Cloudy
69° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 69°
Indianapolis
Partly Cloudy
70° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 70°
Rockville
Partly Cloudy
68° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 68°
Casey
Mostly Cloudy
63° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 63°
Brazil
Partly Cloudy
68° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 68°
Marshall
Partly Cloudy
70° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 70°
Clouds move in today with showers possible this evening.
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Cases: 1363409

Reported Deaths: 24725
CountyCasesDeaths
Cook54578510114
DuPage906281281
Will75577990
Lake67248988
Kane58414774
Winnebago33247475
Madison30525520
McHenry28604288
St. Clair27862514
Peoria23136315
Champaign20649145
Sangamon18762234
McLean18167179
Tazewell16959288
Rock Island14994317
Kankakee14193210
Kendall1306094
LaSalle12553243
Macon10762199
DeKalb9874119
Vermilion9653132
Adams8466123
Williamson7433130
Whiteside7165172
Boone670773
Ogle611481
Grundy589375
Clinton576090
Coles568795
Knox5565145
Jackson502764
Henry498167
Livingston482585
Stephenson475983
Woodford475176
Effingham472972
Macoupin470282
Marion4472115
Franklin445075
Monroe435793
Jefferson4296120
Lee416952
Randolph413184
Fulton392756
Morgan390382
Logan388058
Bureau372082
Montgomery372074
Christian366773
Perry317560
Fayette317455
Iroquois302266
McDonough285647
Jersey268950
Douglas258835
Saline256454
Lawrence240525
Shelby229837
Union226040
Crawford212026
Bond205024
Cass199225
Jo Daviess181524
Clark179833
Warren179846
Pike179152
Ford178647
Wayne177553
Hancock176032
Carroll175436
Richland175040
Edgar170440
White169726
Washington164525
Moultrie161028
De Witt151324
Mason151045
Piatt149814
Clay148143
Mercer147033
Johnson144415
Greene143733
Wabash134512
Massac134340
Cumberland129019
Menard123612
Jasper115018
Marshall107318
Hamilton83315
Schuyler7587
Brown7066
Pulaski6877
Stark63823
Edwards57112
Henderson52514
Calhoun5182
Putnam4823
Scott4791
Alexander46811
Gallatin4584
Hardin38612
Pope3224
Out of IL40
Unassigned02356

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Cases: 733591

Reported Deaths: 13466
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1003871748
Lake54020975
Allen40829679
St. Joseph35898552
Hamilton35735408
Elkhart28745442
Tippecanoe22432219
Vanderburgh22342397
Porter18871310
Johnson18028381
Hendricks17283315
Clark13015191
Madison12725339
Vigo12482248
LaPorte12011214
Monroe11928170
Delaware10726187
Howard9959218
Kosciusko9451117
Hancock8325142
Bartholomew8085156
Warrick7792155
Floyd7677178
Grant7080174
Wayne7064199
Boone6722101
Morgan6596139
Dubois6162117
Marshall6083112
Cass5839105
Dearborn582178
Henry5767104
Noble563684
Jackson502773
Shelby493696
Lawrence4571120
Harrison436372
Gibson436292
DeKalb429685
Clinton428153
Montgomery425389
Whitley397439
Huntington393380
Steuben390057
Miami382668
Knox372690
Jasper370148
Putnam362360
Wabash354980
Adams341955
Ripley340270
Jefferson331581
White315654
Daviess298299
Wells291981
Decatur285692
Fayette281662
Greene280085
Posey271933
LaGrange268370
Scott267254
Clay260647
Washington241832
Randolph241481
Spencer232631
Jennings230649
Starke217854
Fountain213246
Sullivan212142
Owen202156
Jay196730
Fulton195640
Carroll189620
Orange184154
Perry184037
Rush173725
Vermillion169743
Franklin168435
Tipton163045
Parke146616
Blackford135132
Pike135134
Pulaski117145
Newton108334
Brown102641
Crawford101315
Benton99014
Martin89515
Warren82415
Switzerland7938
Union71110
Ohio57111
Unassigned0417