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Albright: I feel sorry for Nikki Haley

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright says President Donald Trump's decision to nix new Russia sanctions recently announced by US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley makes the US look "inept."

Posted: Apr 17, 2018 5:50 PM
Updated: Apr 17, 2018 5:50 PM

The White House is continuing to debate placing additional sanctions on Russia, clashing with an announcement US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley made on Sunday, The Washington Post reported Monday.

Haley announced on CBS's "Face the Nation" on Sunday that the US Treasury Department would formalize additional sanctions on Russia the following day, but The Post reported that President Donald Trump had yet to sign off on the move.

Several people familiar with the plan told the paper that Trump was upset with the sanctions rollout, and administration officials said the strategy was "in a holding pattern."

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement on Monday that the administration is "considering additional sanctions on Russia, and a decision will be made in the near future."

Monday's comment from the White House came in contrast to Haley's specific announcement on Sunday.

"You will see that Russian sanctions will be coming down," Haley said. "Secretary Mnuchin will be announcing those on Monday, if he hasn't already."

White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley reiterated the administration is still reviewing potentially new sanctions on CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360" later Monday.

"The administration is looking at sanctions on Russia, potentially some more sanctions, quite frankly, but we don't have any announcement to make at this time," Gidley said. "There is a chance that we do issue more sanctions. We just don't have a decision yet from the administration."

A source familiar with the matter told CNN more than a dozen entities, including banks and equipment suppliers, are being looked at, and at least several are expected to be sanctioned. Also under consideration are Russian companies that sell helicopters and helicopter parts to Syria, sources familiar with the matter said.

The confused announcement and walk-back outlined in the report came just days after the US, along with the United Kingdom and France, ordered strikes on Syrian facilities in retaliation for an alleged chemical weapons attack and as the Trump administration has ramped up criticism of Russia for its support of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad.

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