Tillerson: US will have ‘dialogue’ with Russia to prevent future election meddling

Tillerson: US will have ‘dialogue’ with Russia to prevent future election meddling
© Greg Nash

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Sunday that the United States will continue to have "dialogue" with Russia to ensure there is no more meddling in the nation's elections.

"We’re going to have a dialogue around how do we gain such assurances," Tillerson said during a joint press conference with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. "You know, the past – I don’t know that we will ever come to an agreement, obviously, with our Russian counterparts on that.  I think the important thing is how do we assure this doesn’t happen again."

Tillerson said Russian leaders gave the answer that U.S. officials expected on accusations of meddling in the 2016 elections: a denial.

"I think, in all candidness, we did not expect an answer other than the one we received, and so I think that, you know, that was about the way we expected the conversation to go. I think the point was made that this is an issue that is – really has the American people quite concerned," he added.  

The secretary said this allegation hurts the diplomatic relations with the state, adding that, "it needs to be addressed."

"And again, it too stands as an obstacle to our ability to improve the relationship between the United States and Russia, and it needs to be addressed in terms of how we assure the American people that interference in our elections will not occur by Russia or anyone else."

Trump pressed Russian President Vladimir Putin on his state's alleged interference in last year's presidential election for about 40 minutes during their more than two-hour meeting on Friday, The New York Times reported one day later. 

Some critics, however, have questioned how far Trump pushed Putin on the issue.

During a press conference Saturday, Putin said he believes Trump was convinced by his denial.

Trump met with Putin and other world leaders amid the G-20 summit, which drew leading figures from 20 countries together to discuss prevalent global issues like climate change and trade.