On Monday morning, we tweeted the following once it became apparent that whatever Nikki Haley was talking about over the weekend in terms of Mnuchin leveling new sanctions against Russia was on hold:
RUSSIA SANCTIONS DECISION TO BE MADE `IN THE NEAR FUTURE'
Looks like Nikki Haley frontran Mnuchin a lil bit
— Walter White (@heisenbergrpt) April 16, 2018
Later, we fleshed that out a bit, noting that “it looks like Haley might have gotten a little ahead of herself or, more likely, Haley repeated what she had been told and then Trump decided to walk it back.
Sure enough, on Monday afternoon, the Washington Post is out reporting that Trump has indeed decided to halt plans to sanction Russia further. To wit:
President Trump on Monday put the brakes on a preliminary plan to impose additional economic sanctions on Russia, walking back a Sunday announcement by U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley that the Kremlin had swiftly denounced as “international economic raiding.”
Preparations to punish Russia anew for its support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government over the alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria caused consternation at the White House. Haley said on CBS News’s “Face the Nation” that sanctions on Russian companies behind the equipment related to Assad’s alleged chemical weapons attack would be announced Monday by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
But Trump conferred with his national security advisers later Sunday and told them he was upset the sanctions were being officially rolled out because he was not yet comfortable executing them, according to several people familiar with the plan.
Go figure, right?
According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, the Trump administration called them after Haley’s Sunday comments to assure them that additional sanctions weren’t actually in the works.
Something like this, I guess: “Hey, it’s us. Yeah, we don’t know what the fuck she was talking about, but we’re not announcing anything tomorrow.”
The Russia ETF jumped on the news:
And this is obviously good news for the beleaguered ruble, which spiked on the report:
Maybe that will help allay Trump’s concerns about the “devaluation games” he swears Russia is playing but which, apparently unbeknownst to Trump, the President is actually playing with himself.