Washington Post’s Josh Dawsey Hammers Sarah Sanders on Trump Russia Comments: ‘Why Won’t He Criticize Putin By Name?’
Washington Post White House Reporter Josh Dawsey went for the kill in the press conference with White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders Wednesday.
“Do you have any sense why the president has not been more critical of [Russian President Vladimir] Putin for some of these events that the entire world stage has really gone after him about?” Dawsey asked — referencing the annexation of Crimea and meddling in the U.S. elections.
“Look, I think the president, as he has said many times before, has been tougher on Russia than anybody,” Sanders responded with a smile. “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, the president has continued sanctions on Russia’s malicious cyberactivity in response to election hacking.”
“We’ve expelled 60 Russian operatives from the United States and closed two consulates,” Sanders continued. “President [Donald] Trump issued four statements condemning Russia’s poisoning of UK citizens on UK soil, 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.”
“The president has been extremely tough on Russia, and to say anything different’s just not true,” she concluded.
Dawsey was hardly satisfied. “Why won’t he criticize Putin by name?” he asked.
“I think he has. I think he has called them out for interfering in our election,” Sanders said, pretty much proving Dawsey’s point. “He’s been tough on Russia repeatedly and he’s taken action against Russia on a number of fronts that I just listed off.”
“When he was beside him on Monday, why wasn’t he critical of Vladimir Putin’s actions?” Dawsey persisted.
“Look, they had a number of conversations,” Sanders said, again in a pivot from the original question.
“The president also sees this as an opportunity as he said many times to be able to work with Russia,” she later continued. “He recognizes the fact that 90 percent of the world’s nuclear weapons are under the direction of the United States and Russia. He thinks it’s a good thing to get along with the other person that controls that much of the nuclear arsenal across the globe.”
“He wants to create a more stable world, a more peaceful world, and we can’t do that if we can’t get along with Russia in some capacity. And so certainly we’ve called them out, we’ve been tough, we’ve approached this in a totally different fashion than has been previously done because what’s been done in the past hasn’t worked, so we are trying a new approach,” she added.
Watch above, via CNN.
[image via screengrab]
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