CNN reporter Jim Acosta suggested at Monday’s press briefing that President Trump has not been as tough on Russia as past presidents, to which Sarah Sanders responded by rattling off the list of military, economic and diplomatic measures the administration has taken against Russia.
“Just because you’ve been saying this over the last couple weeks that nobody has been tougher on Russia and Vladimir Putin than this president, isn’t there some hyperbole in that?” CNN’s White House correspondent posed to the White House press secretary. “Obviously Ronald Reagan’s ‘Tear Down This Wall.’ John Kennedy put up a blockade around Cuba. Carter boycotted the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow. Obviously, there’s been presidents over the course of the last several decades that have been tougher than this president. Also up until recently, this president wasn’t willing to criticize Vladimir Putin by name.”
“You cite like one example for each of those individuals,” Sanders answered. “Let’s talk about a few actions that the president has taken that previous administrations haven’t.”
“The Treasury Department issued new sanctions on numerous individuals and entities in Russia. The president’s continued other sanctions on malicious cyber activity in response to election hacking. He’s expelled 60 operatives from the United States and closed two consulates,” she flatly stated. “The president has issued four statements condemning Russian’s poisoning about U.K. citizens on U.K. soil. He’s authorized the sale of lethal aid to Ukraine. He’s authorized military strikes against the Assad regime in Syria and has repeatedly called out Russia’s actions on that front. We’ve also exported energy to our allies in eastern Europe.”
“You named off one or two things. It is without dispute that this administration and this president has done a number of things to be tough on Russia.”