Russian President Vladimir Putin's announcement Thursday that it has tested new strategic nuclear weapons that cannot be intercepted "confirmed what the United States government has known all along, which Russia has denied," White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.
"Russia has been developing destabilizing weapons systems for over a decade in direct violation of its treaty obligations," Sanders said at the daily briefing with reporters.
"President Trump understands the threats facing America and our allies in this century and is determined to protect our homeland and preserve peace through strength."
In his state-of-the-nation speech, Putin said the weapons included a nuclear-powered cruise missile, a nuclear-powered underwater drone and a new hypersonic missile that have no equivalent elsewhere in the world.
The arsenal makes NATO's U.S.-led missile defense "useless," Putin said, and effectively ends what he said was Western efforts to stymie Russia's development.
However, "U.S. defense capabilities are and will remain second to none," Sanders said, pointing to a $700 billion federal infusion to upgrade the nation's armed forces.
"Our military will be far stronger than ever," she added.
"As the president's nuclear-posture review made clear, America is moving forward to modernize our nuclear arsenal and to ensure that our capabilities are unmatched."
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