Russia to face 'consequences' if it meddles again: Tillerson

2018-02-07 12:14
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. (Cliff Owen, AP)

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. (Cliff Owen, AP)

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Bogota - Russia will face consequences if it meddles in the US legislative election this year, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Tuesday.

CIA Director Mike Pompeo warned in January that he does in fact expect Moscow to try to interfere, as US intelligence agencies insist it did in the 2016 presidential election to help Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton.

Tillerson, speaking to Fox News during a tour of Latin America, said "there's a lot of ways that the Russians can meddle in the elections, a lot of different tools they can use."

"And we are seeing certain behaviours. There are a number of important elections in this hemisphere this year, and leading up to the US in 2018," Tillerson said.

"I think it's important we just 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 are going to just continue to invite consequences for yourself.'"

He added, though, that if Moscow decides to meddle in an election, "it's very difficult to pre-empt it".

Special prosecutor Robert Mueller and US lawmakers are probing the Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, specifically whether the Trump campaign colluded in that effort and whether Trump has tried to obstruct justice by hindering the investigations.

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