US Secretary of State to visit Philippines

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Last week, the US Congress passed a bill to toughen the unilateral US sanctions against Russia, Iran, and North Korea.

Tillerson's travel reaffirms the Administration's commitment to further broaden and enhance United States economic and security interests in the Asia-Pacific region, said the press announcement. If Trump were to veto the bill, Congress would nearly surely override his veto. Those margins guaranteed that Congress would be able to beat back any attempt by Trump to veto the measure. "I think the president accepts that, all indications are he will sign that bill and then we'll just work with it".

"As with any very particularly complex piece of legislation like this is, there's a legal review" taking place beforehand, she said. Republicans refused to budge even after the White House complained that the "congressional review" infringed on Trump's executive authority.

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As we recently discussed, Trump is giving Putin what he wants in Syria, while simultaneously isolating the United States diplomatically, fracturing Western alliances, largely ignoring Russia's attack on the USA elections - all of which serve Moscow's strategic goals.

Top members of Trump's administration voiced their unhappiness with the bill anew this week, echoing his sentiments that it poses more diplomatic hindrances than solutions.

He said he and President Donald Trump are not "very happy" with Congress' vote to sanction Russian Federation, but "all indications are he will sign that bill, and then we'll just work with it". "I don't think the American people want us to have a bad relationship with a huge nuclear power, but I think they are frustrated, and I think a lot of this reflects the frustration that we've not seen the kind of improvement in the relationship with Russian Federation that all of us would like to see".

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Tillerson conceded that he is unable to show that the USA has fulfilled Trump's objective of a new, more cooperative relationship between the former Cold War foes, noting only modest efforts in Syria as a sign the nations share some common goals.

What would Russian Federation want from a pliant USA leader?

Tillerson's trip also presents an opportunity for the Trump administration to expand its engagement with key bilateral allies and partners in the subregion that are important to the advancement of US interests. After officials filed an "action memo" for the money - a routine document requesting a decision from the secretary of state - Tillerson's aides reportedly replied that he "didn't like being told what to do".

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Vice President Mike Pence sounded a distinctly different note about the sanctions bill Tuesday, when he was in the former Soviet republic of Georgia, seeking to reassure Russia's neighbors, who are anxious about Moscow's expansionist policies.

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