Former Obama administration officials waged a secret campaign against President Donald Trump’s efforts to normalize relations with Russia in the early weeks of his presidency, blocking White House attempts to unilaterally lift sanctions and other measures designed to relieve tensions with Moscow.
The high-ranking Department of State officials lobbied Congressional allies to counter the Trump administration’s plans for reversing course on existing Russian policy, according to a report from Michael Isikoff of Yahoo News. The campaign began after top administration officials ordered State Department staffers to explore options for the lifting of economic sanctions, the return of diplomatic compounds and other negotiating chips that could be used in a “grand bargain” with Russia.
Those orders alarmed some leaders at State who supported the sanctions, which were imposed in retaliation for Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine and for Moscow’s meddling in the 2016 presidential campaign. They immediately launched a behind-the-scenes fight, asking certain members of Congress to sponsor legislation that would prevent the easing of sanctions, reports Yahoo News.
Source: The Daily Caller