5 times the Trump administration actually was tough on Russia
- The Trump administration is often criticized for being hesitant to confront Russian President Vladimir Putin.
- The White House has frequently pushed back on that notion.
- Here's what the Trump administration has actually done to confront Russian aggression.
Despite President Donald Trump's national-security advisers' note reminding him "DO NOT CONGRATULATE" Russian President Vladimir Putin on his election victory during their call on Tuesday, Trump did anyway.
When asked whether Trump thought Putin's election victory was free and fair during a press briefing that day, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders demurred.
"We're focused on our elections," she said. "We don't get to dictate how other countries operate."
During another press briefing last month, Sanders argued Trump had been "tougher on Russia in the first year than [former President Barack] Obama was in eight years combined."
This argument has become a frequent line of defense Trump officials have used when pressed about the administration's complicated relationship with Russia.
Trump, whose response to the US intelligence community's assessment that Russia meddled in the 2016 US election has been lukewarm at best, is often perceived as being hesitant to confront the Kremlin's aggression.
But the Trump administration has actually taken some concrete actions against Russia. Here are five examples: