The Trump administration looked into the possibility of scaling back sanctions on Russia earlier this year, pointing to oil production and the U.S. economy as the motivation to do so.
According to The Daily Beast, the Department of State ended up convincing the White House not to go ahead with the idea, saying that lifting all or part of the sanctions placed on Russia last year would likely harm the U.S. economy, not improve it.
Former national security adviser Michael Flynn was reportedly looking into easing the sanctions before he was let go from his position in February. Flynn has since come under fire for his ties to Russia and even Turkey.
The discussion about loosening the Russian sanctions continued after Flynn left the administration, the Daily Beast reports.
A senior official in the Trump administration told the website Kevin Harrington, of the National Security Council, looked into whether the sanctions could be changed, but it was ultimately decided they would remain in place.
"He did an economic analysis of what the Russian sanctions are doing. He said according to his analysis, they weren't causing any significant pain," the official told the Daily Beast.
"His view was, if these sanctions are harming our economy without putting any pressure on Russia, what's the point?"
Another official told the Daily Beast Harrington "was very aggressively pushing this out of the gate" after Flynn brought him into the NSC.
The State Department viewed the query as questionable because of the allegations that said Trump and/or members of his campaign had improper ties to Russia.
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