Sarah Huckabee Sanders tried to justify Trump’s claim that he is tough on Russia, but the list that she read off was pathetic.
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) April 9, 2018
Transcript of the exchange with CNN’s Jim Acosta during the White House daily briefing:
Q: Just because you have been saying this the last couple of weeks that nobody has been tougher on Russian and Vladimir Putin than this president. Isn’t there hyperbole in there? Reagan’s tear down this wall. The wall around Cuba. Carter boycotted the summer Olympics in Moscow. Certainly, there have been presidents who have been tougher on this president. Also given the fact that this president up until recently wasn’t willing to criticize Vladimir Putin by name. We all saw that over the weekend and took that as a new development.
Huckabee Sanders: You cite one example for each of those individuals. Let me list what this president has done that other administrations haven’t. Sanctions. The president has continued other sanctions on Russia’s malicious cyber activity in response to election hacking. He expelled 60 Russian operatives from the United States and closed two consulates. The president issued four statements condemning Russia’s poisoning UK residents on UK soil. Authorized military strikes in Syria and called out Russia’s action on that front. We have also exported support to our allies in eastern Europe. You called out one or two things. It is without a doubt this administration and this president has done a number of things to be tough on Russia.
Fact checkers have already ruled this White House claim to be mostly false. PolitiFact reported, “After 2014, however, Obama’s Russia policy stiffened considerably. These included a rapid set of sanctions on people and enterprises in March 2014 following the Crimean annexation, and sector-based sanctions on Russia in July 2014 following continued Russian military activities in eastern Ukraine, said Anders Åslund, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. Later, Obama’s actions included the expulsion of Russian diplomats in December 2016, the closing of Russian compounds, and a variety of statements critical of Russia and Putin.”
Trump never wanted the Russia sanctions. In fact, he called up Mitch McConnell and screamed at him after the Senate passed the sanctions. George W. Bush, whose response to Putin aggression has been criticized as Charmin soft, was light-years tougher than Trump has been.
The White House’s defense of Trump on Russia has hit the point of pathetic. Trump is a Putin puppet, and no amount of falsehood and spin can hide his incredible weakness.
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Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association