Senate OKs sanctions bill to punish Russia

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has voted overwhelmingly to approve new sanctions against Russia to punish Moscow for meddling in the 2016 election and its aggression in other parts of the world.

The chamber passed the bipartisan sanctions legislation 97-2. The measure has been attached to a bill imposing penalties on Iran that the Senate is currently debating and also has strong support.

Lawmakers are taking action against Russia in the absence of a forceful response from President Donald Trump. The president has sought to improve relations with Moscow and rejected the implication that Russian hacking of Democratic emails tipped the election his way.

But Trump’s secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, says he agrees with members of Congress who want Russia held accountable for its meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

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