How Russia Sanctions May Put Trump in Political Bind: Experts

Donald Trump could theoretically revoke them, but may not want to.

For its part, the White House agrees.

“Hypothetically, you could reverse those sanctions, but it wouldn’t make a lot of sense,” a senior administration official said in a call to reporters after the sanctions were announced.

“What there was was notification today to the senior member of the president-elect's team. But no, no consultation in advance," she said.

Steve Sestanovich, a senior fellow for Russian and Eurasian studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, said that the today’s announcement appears to have considered the predicament Trump would be placed in.

“I don’t think there’s any doubt that the outgoing Administration aims to put pressure on the incoming one,” Sestanovich told ABC News.

“If the intelligence community is ordered to stand down by President Trump, they’ll have to go to Congress and tell the handful of senior Congressional leaders cleared for this information that they’ve been told to go easy on the Russians. The Congressional leadership will then be in a position to push back against the Administration,” he said.

“If Trump wanted to make a gesture to Putin, it makes it more difficult ... it’s one more thing he has to get rid of,” Herbst told ABC News.

Herbst also said that the move presents a “political problem for [Trump] because Republican hawks understand the danger of Putin’s aggression.”

Eugene Rumer, the director of the Russia and Eurasia program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, agreed that the prospect of insulting and ignoring the intelligence community should be a factor in any decision Trump makes.

“Politically it would be a very challenging thing to do and essentially would position Mr. Trump in the same camp so to speak as Russian intelligence services and the Kremlin.”

The Trump team did not immediately comment about the sanctions, but on Wednesday night, he suggested that "we ought to get on with our lives."

"I think that computers have complicated lives very greatly," he added. "The whole age of computer has made it where nobody knows exactly what is going on. "We have speed, we have a lot of other things, but I'm not sure we have the kind the security we need."

And today, before the announcement of the sanctions, Trump spokesman and pick for press secretary, Sean Spicer said: "if the United States has clear proof of anybody interfering with our election, we should make that known and we should put it out there."

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