In the midst of an investigation into his ties with Russia, President Donald Trump has reportedly decided to push for friendlier sanctions with the country.
As Politico reported, the new administration might work with House Republicans to ease sanctions on the Kremlin, some of which were introduced by former President Barack Obama.
The sanctions blocked Russian energy products as well as "mining, metals, shipping and railways, and targets Russians guilty of conducting cyberattacks or supplying weapons to Syria's government."
Many of these were put in place under Obama administration, and were seen as a retort to Russia allegedly leaking former Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton's emails and sabotaging her presidential campaign.
But even as allegations mount of him being planted at White House by Russia, Trump refuses to be stopped by reason or good political sense. As of now, he is reportedly enraged at the power the Congress holds over him, powers that could stop him from lifting the sanctions.
It is uncertain if the pitch would be met with hostility, however, sources in the administration revealed that "allies" in the House would not want to limit the president's powers.
Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), apparently, is not as optimistic as the White House.
"I just cannot fathom how House Republicans could ultimately, with everything that’s going on with Russia’s nefarious actions, try to either deep-six the bill or dramatically change it," he said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has said before that Russia will retaliate against any further sanctions.
However, it remains unclear whether the response from Kremlin would be to impose sanctions on the U.S. or sully Donald Trump's good political standing.
“I’m concerned about it, but I don’t really have the ability to dictate what the White House says to the House,” Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) said in an interview. “I can’t imagine the House would want to be apologists for Russian behavior after the combined weight of the intelligence communities all weighing in saying, ‘Look, they attacked the United States.'”