The U.S. House of Representatives has voted overwhelmingly Tuesday for a bill that will slap new sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea, potentially complicating President Donald Trump’s hopes of pursuing improved relations with Moscow.
House members backed the measure by a margin of 388-2, with strong support from Trump’s fellow Republicans as well as Democrats. It must pass the Senate before it can be sent to the White House for Trump to sign into law or veto.
The bipartisan measure aims to punish Russia for its 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine and for alleged interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The measure’s fate in the Senate is uncertain after a key senator said the deal announced over the weekend may not be final.
If the Republican-led Senate passes the measure, Trump will need to decide whether to sign the bill or veto it. Rejecting it would carry a risk that his veto could be overridden by lawmakers.
The Trump administration has objected to a provision in the sanctions bill that the president obtain congressional approval before easing any sanctions on Moscow.
“He’s going to study that legislation and see what the final product looks like,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters on Monday, when asked whether Trump would support it.
Trump’s relationship with Russia has been an issue during the first six months of his presidency as investigations continue into whether his associates colluded with Russian hackers to influence the election on his behalf.
Russia denies interfering in the U.S. election. Trump has denied his campaign colluded with Moscow, calling the probes politically motivated and repeatedly criticizing them.
In a series of tweets early on Tuesday, Trump lashed out at both U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Andrew McCabe, acting director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Without offering evidence, Trump cited “Ukrainian efforts to sabotage” his presidential campaign in order to aid his former Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.
Keep Protesting Israeli Aggression at Al-Aqsa: Muslim Group
An Islamic trust in Palestine has urged religious worshipers who frequent al-Aqsa Mosque in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem to remain firm in their protests against Israeli aggression.
The Jerusalem Islamic Waqf, which manages edifices at the al-Aqsa Mosque, also urged Muslims to not enter holy site until Israeli authorities revert their decision to increase security measures there and to continue to pray on the perimeter of the holy site, Press TV reported.
The statement mentioned that Muslims should not enter the Mosque “until after an assessment by a Waqf technical committee and the return of the situation to how it was before the 14th of this month.”
A shootout near al-Aqsa Mosque left three Palestinians and two Israeli security forces dead on July 14. Israel used the incident as a pretext to implement harsh security measures at the religious compound, which included metal detectors, heavily armed guards and surveillance cameras at its entrance.
The move sparked international outrage as Palestinians claimed that the newly-imposed restrictions were aimed at exerting more control over the holy site by Israel.
On Monday, United Nations Middle East Envoy Nickolay Mladenov explicitly warned that the events taking place in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem have the potential to create catastrophic outcomes.
“Nobody should be mistaken that these events are localized events,” Mladenov said.
“In fact, they may be taking place over a couple of hundred square meters but they affect millions, if not billions, of people around the world.”
Mladenov called on all parties to “refrain from provocative actions, show restraint and work towards finding a solution,” adding that it’s “extremely important” to reach a solution to the current crisis by Friday.