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Pres. Trump reversing course on sanctions against Russia

(CBS) - On Tuesday, Secretary of Defense James Mattis and other top military brass will brief Congress on last week's Syrian strikes. Meanwhile, president Trump has decided against imposing new economic sanctions against Russia over the suspected chemical weapons attack in the country. 

President Trump, reversing course, said on Monday he is not in favor of new sanctions on Russia for its support of Syria...at least not yet.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said, in a statement, that, "a decision will be made in the near future." She then elaborated while speaking with reporters on Air Force One.

"The president has been clear that he's going to be tough on Russia, but at the same time he'd still like to have a good relationship with them," said Sanders. 

On Sunday, UN Ambassador Nikki Haley indicated new actions on Russia were imminent.

"You will see that Russian sanctions will be coming down," said Haley on Face the Nation. 

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are raising concern about the sudden backtrack.

"We're going to have to get serious about sanctions against Russia," said Sen. Jeff Flake. 

The House Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Democrat Eliot Engel, in a statement, also blasted the move writing, "This sends a message to governments around the world that they can support brutal, criminal behavior without serious consequences."

Syrian state-run television HAD reported that the country's defenses shot down missiles in an attack early Tuesday over the central Homs region. It now says a false alarm set off the Syrian air defense system. 

Copyright 2018 CBS News. All rights reserved. 


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