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White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders and CNN reporter Jim Acosta debated whether President Trump has been, as he claimed, "tougher on Russia" than any previous president.

In Monday's briefing, Acosta asked Sanders if Trump's statement in that regard was "hyperbole."

Acosta pointed to President Kennedy's Cuban blockade, President Carter's boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympics and President Reagan's successful demand that Mikhail Gorbachev "tear down" the Berlin Wall.

"There have been presidents over the last several decades that have been tougher on Russia [than Trump]," Acosta said.

Acosta added that Trump's direct criticism of Russian leader Vladimir Putin by name is a "new development."

Sanders disagreed, saying Acosta only mentioned a single incident for each of the past presidents.

"Let me list a few of those actions [Trump] has taken [against Russia]," she said.

Sanders said Trump expelled 60 Russian operatives, closed two consulates, authorized "lethal aid" to Ukraine, and exported American energy to eastern European countries.

"It is without dispute that this administration, this president, has done a number of things to be tough on Russia," Sanders said.

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