White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said President Donald Trump has done more during his first year in office to curb ISIS' efforts and North Korea's nuclear program than his predecessor, former President Barack Obama, accomplished in eight years.
On Oct. 9, Sanders took to social media to assert that Trump had indisputably improved national security after eight months in office, the Washington Examiner reports.
"It's indisputable that President [Donald Trump] has done more to isolate North Korea & defeat ISIS in 8 months than Obama did in 8 years," Sanders tweeted out.
The press secretary followed up with an official statement by Vice President Mike Pence.
"While critics engage in empty rhetoric and baseless attacks, under the President's leadership, ISIS is on the run; North Korea is isolated like never before; and our NATO allies are doing more to pay for their fair share for our common defense ... Today our nation once again stands, without apology, as leader of the free world," Pence said.
Both Sanders and Pence's statements were similar to a previous assertion made by Trump himself. On Sept. 15, Trump took to social media to assert that he and his administration had accomplished more than Obama.
"We have made more progress in the last nine months against ISIS than the Obama Administration has made in 8 years," Trump tweeted out. "Must be proactive & nasty!
The Trump administration's assertion about the president's accomplishments have been challenged by both the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Republican Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, and the Russian government.
On Oct. 9, Corker asserted during an interview with The New York Times that Trump's public statements and posture towards the North Korean government undercut Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's efforts to find a diplomatic solution and endangered national security.
"Sometimes I feel like he's on a reality show of some kind, you know, when he's talking about these big foreign policy issues," said Corker. "And he doesn’t realize that we could be heading towards World War III with the kinds of comments that he’s making."
That same day, Russian defense ministry spokesperson Major-General Igor Konashenkov accused the Trump administration of reducing air strikes in Iraq and allowing ISIS militants to coalesce in Syria, where they could fight the Russian-aligned Syrian army, Reuters reports.
"Everyone sees that the U.S.-led coalition is pretending to fight Islamic State, above all in Iraq, but continuing to allegedly fight Islamic State in Syria actively for some reason," Konashenkov told reporters, according to Reuters.
U.S. Pentagon spokesperson Colonel Robert Manning denied the Russian government's accusation.
"We remain committed to killing ISIS and denying them safe havens and the ability to carry out strikes in the region or globally," Manning said.