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Erin Banco @ErinBanco
, 10 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
THIS is why the sanctions conversation matters. It wasn't just Flynn that made overtures. And Mueller ready to tell us who else planned to ease sanctions for Moscow and why they lied about it.… via @thedailybeast
But it is important to note: The formal request to come up with a way to ease those sanctions never made it to top national security officials tasked with overseeing and implementing sanctions, two of them tell me.
Instead, the Trump transition was so disorganized that by the time the administration got rolling in a real way, Congress was already ramping up sanctions
Then it became a game of: Ok, how do we get Congress to reel it in. And the major focus, it seems, switched to Iran sanctions.
People in the State Dept. transition tell me there was actually no one really working directly on Russia policy at the time, because they had been told that Tillerson needed more resources dedicated to MENA and Asia policy making.
The Russia convos were held behind closed doors or not at all and instead in TT. And for the Trump team, their thinking was: the sanctions don't seem to be working, they aren't changing Russian behavior, which, quite frankly, was relatively true at the time.
Still, though, it all comes down to what Russia wanted from the U.S. Sanctions relief wasn't their only goal, for sure, but today we now know that Mueller thinks whatever conversations were had about this are important to the overall probe.
And the big TELL, of course, is that people lied about it when asked. we go to Flynn sentencing. A man who sat at the center of foreign policy convos during the transition and presumably has given Mueller and his team what they needed, at least in part, on Russia sanctions convos as well as details about the Middle East side of the probe
And apparently that's enough to keep him out of jail.
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