Nikki Haley: Russia committed 'warfare' against US in 2016

United Nations Ambassador Nikki HaleyNimrata (Nikki) HaleyAmerican women can have it all State denies report ex-spokeswoman received Fox salary while in administration Trump rules out Haley joining 2020 ticket MORE said Thursday that the Russian government committed "warfare" against the U.S. last year when hackers tied to Moscow meddled in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

In remarks first reported by the Washington Examiner, Haley made some of the strongest condemnations of Russia's government so far from a Trump administration official.


"When a country can come interfere in another country's elections, that is warfare," Haley said at the George W. Bush Institute with former secretaries of State Madeleine Albright and Condoleezza Rice. "It really is, because you're making sure that the democracy shifts from what the people want to giving out that misinformation."

Haley added that Russia's cyber capabilities have become its "weapon of choice" against the U.S. and other democracies.

"They are doing this everywhere," she said. "This is their new weapon of choice."

The former South Carolina governor also expressed her incredulity at Russian statements knocking the U.S. for its rhetoric.

"I find it fascinating because the Russians, God bless them, they're saying, 'Why are Americans anti-Russian?'" she said. "And, 'Why have we done the sanctions?' Well, don't interfere in our elections and we won't be anti-Russian."

Rice, who served in the Bush administration, added that she hopes the Trump administration is determined to stop Russian meddling before it starts in the future.

"I will say that I hope we are on top of what really happened to us, that we're really investigating it in ways that bring all of our tools — including what people in places like Google and Facebook will know about how this is done," Rice said.

"And then we've got to fix it, because my own view is that if they do this to us once, it's their fault, if they do this to us twice, it's ours," she said.