On Sunday, Politico reported that a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers from the US Senate is on the verge of a deal to strengthen anti-Russian sanctions, with the big question on the agenda being not whether to move forward with restrictions, but just "how hard a punch to throw at Russia."
According to the publication, the Democrats want to both block President Trump from easing current sanctions, and introduce new restrictions over Russia's alleged meddling in the 2016 presidential elections, evidence of which remains extremely flimsy. The Republicans, meanwhile, are more careful, Politico says, although among them too there are hawks, like South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, who are desperately looking for new ways to stick it to the Russians.
Speaking to CBS News Face the Nation on Sunday, Graham declared that "any member of Congress who doesn't want to punish Russia for what they have done is betraying democracy. And if the president doesn't sign the bill to punish Russia, he would be betraying democracy."
Last week, Tennessee Democratic Senator and Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker predicted that lawmakers would "end up with something really, really strong on Russia that can be supported in a very bipartisan way."
Commenting on the Senate's desperate efforts to hit Russia with more sanctions despite a lack of evidence against Trump or Moscow, Russian Senator Alexei Pushkov diagnosed the US lawmakers of having an 'obsession' with Russia.
"Left looking the fool after Comey's testimony, the anti-Russian coalition in the US Senate has decided to strike at relations with Russia through new sanctions. They're obsessed," Pushkov tweeted.
Оставшись с носом после показаний Коми, антиросс. коалиция в Сенате США решила ударить по отнош. с Россией через новые санкции. Одержимые.— Алексей Пушков (@Alexey_Pushkov) 12 июня 2017 г.
On that count, Pushkov noted that the lack of any sort of collusion between Russia and Trump was clear as day, but something hawks including Arizona Senator John McCain just can't seem to wrap their heads around.
"The head of the Republicans in the US says it's time to stop investigating Trump's ties with Russia. The fact that there are no ties is a no-brainer, but apparently not to McCain and co.," Pushkov wrote.
Глава республиканцев в США: пора прекращать расследование связей Трампа с Россией. Связей не было - это ясно и ежу, но не Маккейну и Ко.— Алексей Пушков (@Alexey_Pushkov) 11 июня 2017 г.