Tillerson: Russian election meddling 'created serious mistrust'

Tillerson: Russian election meddling 'created serious mistrust'
© Greg Nash

Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonOvernight Defense: Trump recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's capital | Mattis, Tillerson reportedly opposed move | Pentagon admits 2,000 US troops are in Syria | Trump calls on Saudis to 'immediately' lift Yemen blockade Trump has yet to name ambassadors to key nations in Mideast Mattis, Tillerson warned Trump of security concerns in Israel embassy move MORE reportedly warned his Russian counterpart that alleged meddling in the 2016 presidential election is a "serious" incident.

"We talked about it in the discussion we had with [Russian Foreign] Minister [Sergey] Lavrov yesterday — and trying to help them understand just how serious this incident had been and how seriously it had damaged the relationship between the U.S. and the American people and the Russian people," Tillerson said, speaking at an Association of Southeast Asian Nations forum in the Philippines, according to CNN.
 
"[I said] this had created serious mistrust between our two countries and that we simply have to find some way to deal with that."

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His comments come after President Trump last week signed legislation that imposes new sanctions on Russia.

The bill — overwhelmingly passed by Congress — also limits the president's ability to lift sanctions on Russia or return diplomatic compounds seized by the Obama administration in retaliation for Russian election meddling.

After signing the legislation, Trump lashed out at Congress, arguing the bill limited his executive power and ability to negotiate with Moscow.

Trump has decried the Russia probe as a witch hunt, and he and his aides have repeatedly denied collusion with Russia to influence the election.

Russia has also denied it meddled in the U.S. presidential election.