U.S. Senators Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, Tuesday announced their committees will hold a series of hearings on Russian Federation.
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is surrounded by reporters as they ask him questions regarding the Trump-Putin meeting on July 17, 2018 on Capitol Hill in Washington.
Senator Lindsey Graham said on Sunday that additional sanctions needed to be teed up before President Donald Trump holds a second meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin after the U.S. leader came under heavy criticism for failing to confront Mr Putin about interference in the 2016 election at a summit on July 16. And if he says that, I would accept that.
"The task to restore a constructive dialogue remains very urgent and should I say that new sanctions are hardly the best background for this", Slutsky said. The president met with Putin on the sidelines of two global summits past year - first Germany, then Vietnam - and both times he invited his Russian counterpart to the White House, according to three current and former administration officials.
Graham insists that the sanctions should be prepared before the possible meeting of Trump and Putin in Washington. Putin's foreign affairs adviser Yuri Ushakov threw cold water on the prospect of Putin accepting Trump's invitation to visit the White House.
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"We are determined to ensure the active role of the Congress in opposition to Russian aggression and ensure that Executive power has taken the necessary steps to protect the U.S. and our allies", the statement reads senators.
"Also, it is important to work with the Congress in the elaboration of the new sanctions as Putin does not understand our message", the senator said. Still, the bill has continued to gain bipartisan cosponsors in recent days and Rubio and Van Hollen have pushed the relevant committees to consider the legislation.
Nisha Biswal, president of the U.S. -India Business Council (USIBC), said the U.S. move would help protect its strategic relationship with India.
He said he's considering legislation that would hit Russian Federation with stiff sanctions if they try to influence the elections.
The legislation, deep inside a massive bill authorizing US military programs, still has to be approved by the full House and Senate. A USA legislation, Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), says sanctions must be imposed against those dealing with Russian Federation.
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Trump, who has offered mixed messages on Russian interference in USA elections - at times even calling it a "hoax" - acknowledged in a tweet that the midterms are a likely target.
"I don't think anyone here denies the fact that Russian Federation attempted to meddle in the elections", said Rep. Jody Hice, R-Ga.
The Senate Foreign Relations and Banking committees will hold the hearings after President TrumpDonald John TrumpGiuliani: Trump would agree to interview with Mueller if no questions on obstruction Haley: Russia "never will be" friend of US Massachusetts passes NASTY Women Act repealing 173-year-old abortion ban MORE's joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin last week set off a storm of criticism and prompted pushback from Senate Republicans.
But Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell isn't pleased with the idea.
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