Haley had said on Sunday that the administration would levy new sanctions against Russian Federation at the beginning of this week for supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his chemical warfare.
In trying to bring clarity to the conflicting stance between the White House and Nikki Haley, Trump's economic adviser, Larry Kudlow said Ms Haley was "doing a great job", adding: "There might have been some momentary confusion about that". In the face of Haley's refusal to clarify on Sunday, draft language was sent to her suggesting again that she do so, the officials said. "And they will go directly to any sort of companies that were dealing with equipment related to Assad and chemical weapons use". A day earlier, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders responded to reports about Haley's comments by saying the administration was "considering additional sanctions on Russian Federation", but that a decision hadn't yet been made. He later apologized to Haley after she released a barbed response to Fox News, saying "with all due respect, I don't get confused".
"She got ahead of the curve", Mr. Kudlow said to reporters at a briefing hours before Mr. Trump welcomed Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan to his Palm Beach estate, Mar-a-Lago. He has expressed a belief that talking directly to Putin could clear up small differences that might lead to more substantive talks. "I think the issue here is we have a set of sanctions and additional sanctions are under consideration but have not been determined". "We have so improved our policy with respect to Russian Federation, far more hawkish, far more realistic", he said.
The officials said that, under the plan conceived last week, the sanctions would have been announced Friday night, at the same time U.S., French and British forces launched a missile strike on President Bashar al-Assad's chemical weapons facilities.
The officials said a decision was then made to announce the sanctions as an answer to Russia's response to the strikes.
The officials said Monday it was unlikely Trump would approve any additional sanctions without another triggering event by Russian Federation, describing the strategy as being in a holding pattern.
Even as Trump privately questions the need for additional sanctions in light of Russia's modest response to the U.S. strikes, several administration officials said they expected new U.S. sanctions to be leveled against Russian companies that facilitated Syria's chemical weapons program.