Tillerson: Russia already looking to interfere in 2018 midterms

Tillerson: Russia already looking to interfere in 2018 midterms
© Camille Fine

Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonUS steps up its game in Africa, a continent open for business Matt Drudge shares mock ‘Survivor’ cover suggesting more White House officials will leave this summer 'Daily Show' trolls Trump over Pruitt's resignation MORE said Tuesday that Russia is already trying to meddle in this year’s midterm elections in the U.S.

“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 preempt it,” Tillerson told Fox News.

Tillerson said it’s important for the U.S. to confront Russia about interfering in American elections instead of turning a blind eye. 

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Tillerson’s assessment mirrors that of CIA Director Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoSenate GOP attempts to wave Trump off second Putin summit Graham would consider US-Russia military coordination in Syria White House: Trump 'disagrees' with Putin's request to question Americans MORE, who said last month that he has “every expectation” Russia will attempt to influence this year’s midterms. 

Pompeo said the U.S. will “push back in a way that is sufficiently robust that the impact they have on our election won’t be great.” 

The intelligence community concluded in a report released last year that Russia conducted a campaign aimed at helping President Trump win the 2016 presidential election. 

The Trump administration said last week that it would not implement new sanctions on Russia over the country's 2016 election meddling, arguing that the threat of sanctions is already “serving as a deterrent.”