White House says no decision yet on fresh Russian Federation sanctions

U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley listens during a UN Security Council meeting on Saturday

"She has a tendency to clear her remarks with Trump personally before she makes them".

One senior administration official expressed skepticism that Haley would have publicly previewed sanctions without a member of Trump's national security team confirming the plans to her before her interviews.

The Russian embassy in the U.S. has received notification from the Trump administration that there will be no new anti-Russia sanctions in the near future, a source in the Russian Foreign Ministry said. The sanctions were explicitly focused on Russian companies that deal in equipment linked to Assad's chemical weapons program.

And if Haley had overstepped on Sunday, it's not clear why White House waited more than 24 hours to correct the record.

One White House official explained to The Washington Post Monday morning that "there had been confusion internally about what the plan was".

“If we can get along with China, and if we can get along with Russian Federation, and if we can get along with Japan and other nations thats a good thing, not a bad thing. "There might have been some momentary confusion about that", he told reporters. "I didn't think much about it". You know, two weeks ago, we're moving out of Syria the next day, and then the next day we weren't.

And that's not the only example of tough talk from the Trump administration toward Russian Federation being undermined by actions - or a lack thereof. "It seems entirely possible that she got Trump to sign off on saying more Russian Federation sanctions were coming on Sunday morning, and then the White House got cold feet (possibly because Trump suddenly felt the need to exert his influence over the process)", the Washington Post reported.

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Haley has, to date, been among the most successful Trump senior officials during the first 16 months of the Trump administration - showing an aggressive and unapologetic face to the rest of the world while also staying in Trump's good graces, which is no easy thing. They may also shed light on one of the great mysteries of the moment: Why is it that Trump regularly backs off when it comes to confronting Vladimir Putin and Russian Federation?

French President Emmanuel Macron said Sunday that France wants to launch a diplomatic initiative over Syria that would include Western powers, Russian Federation and Turkey.

But, on Monday we found out that Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, would be announcing no such thing - largely because Trump himself wasn't totally convinced he should do so. Trump said the strike was “absolute precision.”.

"Additional sanctions are under discussion but haven't been determined", Kudlow said Tuesday.

Why then, in the days after fired FBI Director James Comey used innuendo to imply, without evidence, that maybe the Russians do have kompromat on the US President, would Trump undercut his own ambassador to the United Nations specifically on the subject of getting tough on Russia?

"Russian sanctions will be coming down", the United Nations ambassador said, "and they will go directly to any sort of companies that were dealing with equipment related to Assad and chemical weapons used".

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