Russians not only tried to meddle, but interfere and influence the 2016 election?
Does the President now acknowledge what the Special Counsel indictments made clear, which is that Russians not only tried to meddle, but interfere and influence the 2016 election?
MS. SANDERS: Absolutely. And the President has acknowledged that multiple times before. He acknowledged it during the transition, he acknowledged it during a press conference in Poland, and he acknowledged it for a third time at a press event in Poland.
He has stated several times — I think one of the places where you guys seem to get very confused, and it seems to happen regularly — the President hasn’t said that Russia didn’t meddle. What he is saying is it didn’t have an impact, and it certainly wasn’t with help from the Trump campaign.
It’s very clear that Russia meddled in the election. It’s also very clear that it didn’t have an impact on the election. And it’s also very clear that the Trump campaign didn’t collude with the Russians in any way for this process to take place.
Q Sarah, if that’s the case, why hasn’t the President implemented the sanctions which Congress passed last year?
MS. SANDERS: Look, frankly, that’s not completely accurate. Look, this President has been tougher on Russia — far tougher —
Q But he hasn’t implemented the sanctions, has he?
MS. SANDERS: Well, there’s a process that has to take place, and we’re going through that process. That law also says that the countries have to violate something in order for those sanctions to go in place. And that hasn’t necessarily happened.
But what I can tell you — hold on — that the President has been extremely tough on Russia. He helped push through $700 billion to rebuild our military. I can assure you Russia is not excited about that.