US lawmakers blast president

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Patty Murray (D-WA), speaks with reporters following the party luncheons on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S. January 23, 2018. Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Members of the US Congress, who passed new sanctions on Russia nearly unanimously last summer, criticised President Donald Trump for not imposing them, accusing him of being soft on his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin.

The Trump administration said it would not announce sanctions for now under the new law, intended to punish Moscow for meddling in the 2016 US presidential election.

Russia denies interfering in the campaign. Democrats blasted the decision, accusing Mr Trump of failing to do everything possible to deter any future foreign election interference.

Mr Trump, who wanted warmer ties with Moscow, opposed the legislation as it worked its way through Congress and signed it reluctantly in August.

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