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White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders and an ABC News reporter engaged in a contentious debate about whether President Donald Trump is keeping the NSA from fully taking action to prevent future Russian election intrusion.

Correspondent Jonathan Karl asked Sanders why Trump has not given the NSA, or National Security Agency, full authority to combat or prevent foreign election interference.

Karl referenced congressional testimony that Adm. Mike Rogers, NSA chief, gave to Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) earlier Tuesday.

As Karl reported, Rogers said he had not yet been granted additional authority by Trump to confront Russia and its "cyberintrusion" into the American election system.

Sanders said the State Department is using $40 million to support organizations combating Russian and Chinese propaganda and influence.

Karl pressed Sanders again, reiterating that Rogers himself said the White House hasn't made Russia pay "a sufficient price" that could force a change in behavior by the Kremlin.

Sanders said Karl should ask the Obama administration why it hadn't taken such swift action against Russia during the 2016 election instead.

"Nobody is denying [Rogers] the authority," Sanders said, calling Trump "tougher on Russia than his predecessor."

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