Published: Wed, May 17, 2017
World Media | By Joan Schultz

Tillerson on Russia: No 'free pass' on election interference

Tillerson on Russia: No 'free pass' on election interference

Tillerson said in an interview that aired Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press" that the Arizona lawmaker was well within his rights to criticize him and listed what he viewed as the USA values that "can never change".

"I have a great relationship with the president", Tillerson told show host Chuck Todd.

Tillerson said the sudden dismissal of Comey, less than four years into a 10-year term, didn't create concerns about how much independence he would have as America's top diplomat.

U.S. -Russian relations, now at their worst since the Cold War, will not reset "with a clean slate", Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told NBC on Sunday.

"The relationship with Russian Federation, as he has described, and I have described as well, is, I think, at an all-time low point since the end of the Cold War, with a very low level of trust".

He said Russian meddling was one of a "broad range of important issues that have to be addressed" in ties between Washington and Moscow, such as the Syrian conflict.

Tillerson acknowledged that sour relations between Russian Federation and the US are "not healthy for the world" or for USA national security, but he was sober in his assessment of the future.

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"It should be understood that we are not trying to make a good start", said Donald Trump's, close associate "Words like" restart "are outdated".

The top US diplomat spoke before Donald Trump leaves on May 19 for his first overseas trip as president, and days after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, who was leading the investigation into Russia's meddling in the 2016 election campaign. They are part of everything we do.

"The President I think has made it clear that he feels it's important that we re-engage with Russian Federation".

These are not new tactics on the part of the Russian government directed not only at the United States but at others too, he noted.

CNN said State released the same statement more than 20 minutes after Tillerson's remarks were distributed by the White House. And in fact they serve as the guidepost and they serve as the boundaries as we develop our foreign policy approaches and our diplomatic efforts.

Kislyak is a major figure in the investigation of Russian interference.

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