While the Russians did indeed interfere in the 2016 American election according to 17 different intelligence agencies, it now appears they’re busy trying to do the same with the upcoming midterms.
“Really, I think it’s just important to continue to say to Russia, ‘Look, if you think we don’t see what you’re doing, we do see it and you need to stop. If you don’t, you’re just going to continue to invite consequences for yourself.'”
Tillerson neglected to mention that consequences were imposed on Russia for their 2016 meddling in the form of sanctions passed by Congress in 2017. To date, however, the Trump administration has refused to enforce those sanctions.
The Secretary of State didn’t sound optimistic about heading off Russian efforts to alter the 2018 elections:
“I don’t know that I would say we are better prepared, because the Russians will adapt as well. The point is, if it’s their intention to interfere, they are going to find ways to do that. We can take steps we can take but this is something that, once they decide they are going to do it, it’s very difficult to pre-empt it.”
Tillerson’s comments are especially notable in light of a report issued in January by Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. That report noted that Russia had been trying for decades to undermine democratic institutions in the U.S. and Europe.
One member of the committee, Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), commented:
“It is imperative that the American people better understand the true scope and scale of Putin’s pattern of undermining democracy in Russia and across Europe. This threat existed long before President Trump took office, and unless he takes action now, it will continue long after his administration.”
The midterms are only 10 months away, we know Russia wants to play a role in them, and yet the White House dithers when it comes to getting tough with the Kremlin. How much of a threat to our national security must Vladimir Putin become before Trump acts?
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Russia meddling in foreign elections: "I think it's important we just continue to say to Russia, 'Look, if you don't think we see what you're doing, we do see and you need to stop.'" #SpecialReport pic.twitter.com/J4wXFSRh7N
— Fox News (@FoxNews) February 7, 2018
Featured Image Via Louis Briscese/U.S. Air Force/Public Domain.