'Confusion Internally': Trump Walks Back Nikki Haley Announcement on Russia Sanctions

U.S. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders holds the daily briefing at the White House in Washington DC

Amidst its deteriorating relations with Russian Federation over the expulsion of diplomats and conducting joint missile strikes in Syria, the Donald Trump administration is considering the imposition of fresh economic sanctions against the Kremlin for supporting Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad's alleged use of chemical weapons against his own countrymen.

The ambassador argued that the limited airstrikes were a "very strong attack" considering "we were not looking for war".

If the US sanctions are enacted, they will be the second such batch in just over a year against Syria's weapons of mass destruction programme. "We convinced him to remain".

Assad denies he has used chemical weapons, and the Trump administration has yet to present hard evidence of what it says precipitated the allied missiles attack: a chlorine gas attack on civilians in Douma on April 7.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders echoed Haley's thoughts when she said on Monday that the U.S. was considering additional sanctions and a decision on this would be made "in the near future".

"We wanted - with the political and diplomatic actions that we're taking now, we wanted their friends Iran and Russian Federation to know that we meant business and that they were going to feel the pain from this as well".

U.S. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin "will be announcing those on Monday if he hasn't already, and they will go directly to any sort of companies that were dealing with equipment related to Assad and chemical weapons use".

The reversal came after the Kremlin complained the sanctions were overly harsh.

Macron, appearing on television in Paris, suggested that he had played a key role in persuading Trump both to act in Syria and to stabilize the region long-term.

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And if this is Trump checking his administration's long-running drift toward a tougher Russian Federation policy - something he hasn't previously done a whole lot to rein in - it could signal a very significant shift in posture, along with a very significant assertion of presidential prerogative. "She'll usually talk to the president without the rest of the White House and get her remarks cleared directly", one administration official said. The Pentagon said that it gave no more caution that was explicit.

Russian Federation on Saturday called USA airstrikes on Syria "treacherous and insane" and a "clear and present danger to world peace".

Russian Federation has military forces, including air defences, in several areas of Syria to support Assad in his long war against anti-government rebels.

The strikes "successfully hit every target", said Dana W. White, the chief Pentagon spokeswoman.

The White House said USA troops will remain in Syria, for now, but the end-goal is still to pull out of the country.

That did not mean military strikes would continue.

She said Sunday that "our job was never to take Assad out" but to encourage a diplomatic settlement.

Asked about Mr. Trump's use of the term "mission accomplished" to describe the strike, Ms. Haley said it makes more sense in a military context.

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