White House press secretary Sarah Sanders listed all of the tough actions President Donald Trump has taken against Russia in response to a question about the president’s relationship with Putin on Wednesday.
Trump met with Russian president Vladimir Putin on Monday and said that Putin firmly denied meddling in the 2016 presidential election. The president was roundly criticized for seeming to weak on Russia and giving too much credit to Putin.
Washington Post reporter Josh Dawsey asked Sanders during Wednesday’s briefing, “Do you have any sense of why the president has not been more critical for Putin and these events that the entire world stage has really gone after him about?”
Sanders responded with a comprehensive list of all of the anti-Russia actions Trump has taken during his time in office.
“The president … has been tougher on Russia than anybody,” Sanders shot back. “I think you can see that in all of the actions that he’s taken, whether it was a plant that was closed due to aluminum and steel tariffs that were put in place by this president, the Treasury Department has issued new sanctions on numerous individuals and entities in Russia.”
Sanders continued to rattle off the administration’s policies against Russia.
“The president has continued sanctions on Russia’s malicious cyber activity in response to election hacking. We’ve expelled 60 Russian operatives from the United States and closed two consulates. President Trump issued four statements condemning Russia’s poisoning of U.K. citizens on U.K. soil,” she continued. “Authorized the sale of lethal aid to Ukraine, authorized military strikes against the Assad regime in Syria and has repeatedly called out Russia’s actions, exporting energy to our allies in Eastern Europe.”
“Look, the president has been extremely tough on Russia and to say anything different is just not true,” Sanders concluded.