(FOX5NY) - President Donald Trump signed into law new sanctions against Russia to punish the Russian government for interfering in the 2016 presidential election and other violations of international law. The president did so begrudgingly taking a jab a Congress in the process.
"While I favor tough measures to punish and deter aggressive and destabilizing behavior by Iran, North Korea, and Russia, this legislation is significantly flawed," Trump said in a statement.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked why the president signed sanctions bill.
"He also sent a clear signal that we won't tolerate interference in our democratic process by Russia," Sanders said. "I also said he signed it in the interest of national unity."
The Republican-controlled Congress passed the Russia sanctions bill by such a large majority last week the president was not able to veto it. Trump has criticized lawmakers for tying his hands, saying he could make "far better deals" with foreign governments than Congress.
Vice President Mike Pence weighed in while on a trip in the Balkans.
"But at the end of the day, I think the president is signing this bill because he believes it's in the national interest," Pence said.
Russia has already responded to the sanctions. Russian President Vladimir on Friday ordered the U.S. Embassy and three U.S. consulates to drastically cut personnel in Russia as well as a shutdown of the U.S. Embassy's recreational compound on the outskirts of Moscow.