Thursday the Treasury Department altered some sanctions that were imposed on Russia during the Obama administration.
The action will ease up on restrictions placed on transactions within the Russian intelligence services. During the White House Press Briefing, Press Secretary Sean Spicer said:
“It’s a fairly common practice after sanctions are put in place to go back and look for carveouts. It's regular course of action.”
President Obama placed the restrictions on Russia following a series of email hacks and security breaches that crippled the Democratic Party and which weakened Hillary Clinton in the middle of her presidential campaign. The ease on these sanctions was a routine update planned under the Obama administration.
The Trump administration's roll back on the restrictions led to further speculation about Trump and his administration's relationship with Russia.
The new tweak will allow U.S. companies to make limited transactions with Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) when importing information technology into Russia.
Some are expressing concern that easing up on Russia could leave the U.S vulnerable.
In a statement to Politico, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) said:
“Easing these sanctions allows Russia to sharpen its knives and import tools from the United States to hack us again.”
You can read the Treasury Department's “general license” authorizing the new modifications at its homepage.
Editor's Note: This story has been updated.