Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Sunday the United States cannot “reset” relations with Russia or start with a clean slate, calling instead for the two countries to "reengage" each other.
“I think it's important to understand we're not trying to start with a clean slate,” Tillerson told host Chuck Todd on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
“I think terms like having a reset are overused. You cannot reset. You cannot erase the past. You cannot start with a clean slate. And we're not trying to start with a clean slate.
"We're starting with the slate we have. And all the problems that are on that slate. We don't dismiss any of them. We don't give anyone a free pass on any of them," Tillerson added.
His comments mark a split from former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonI voted for Trump in 2020 — he proved to be the ultimate RINO in 2021 Neera Tanden tapped as White House staff secretary Meghan McCain: 'SNL' parodies made me feel like 'laughing stock of the country' MORE’s "reset" approach toward the Kremlin, which she instituted in 2009 after handing Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov a red button with “reset” written on it in English during a meeting in Geneva.
Tillerson said President Trump believes it is important to “reengage” Russia, acknowledging that the two countries have problems to address.
“And yes, there are a large number of issues that we have to get around to addressing in order to put this relationship back together, if that is indeed possible.”
Tillerson said the U.S.-Russian relationship is at “an all-time low point since the end of the Cold War,” adding that there is a “very low level of trust” between the two countries.