Trump administration misses deadline to impose sanctions on Russia; treasury dept. releases list of Russians with ties to Putin

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Everybody makes lists these days. Grocery lists, to-do lists, no big deal, right?  But when the U.S. Treasury Department makes a list, it makes headlines.

Its list has the names of more than 200 Russian business leaders and political figures -- all with direct ties to Vladimir Putin.

It took an act of Congress to mandate the list, and sanctions against Russia, as punishment for meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.  President Donald Trump reluctantly signed the bill into law last year, but his administration failed to meet Monday's deadline to impose any restrictions.

"Right now we are a cheap date in the sense that there are no consequences. There are no results for when you do something to us, we don't do anything back," said Sen. Angus King, (I) Maine.  "If the Russians aren't paying a price for what they're doing, they're going to keep doing it."

While testifying before the Senate Banking Committee Tuesday, treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin defended Trump's actions, or lack there of.  "We did not waive or delay."

Despite missing the deadline, Mnuchin says they are using the report to decide where best to place sanctions.  "So this should in no way be interpreted as we're not putting sanctions on any of the people in that report."

Some on the list were already subject to sanctions, but the administration stopped short of imposing new ones.   Just being on the list may lead to banks and other institutions not doing business with them.

"This administration has been tougher on the Russians than the previous administration. I will tell you however, that I hope it's tougher," said Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, (R) Florida. "I think Mr. Putin is a thug, is a gangster."

Putin is calling the list "pointless" and an "unfriendly act."   Others in the Russian government say this is the United States' attempt at meddling in their presidential election.

Seems there hasn`t been a list on Capitol Hill generating this much drama or speculation since the Mc Carthy era.

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