“Everyone” knows Russia not only interfered in the US’ 2016 elections, but that it also continues to do so “across multiple continents,” US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said in an interview with CNN, adding that “the US won’t ever trust Russia.”
“Everybody knows that Russia meddled in our elections. Everybody knows that they’re not just meddling in the United States’ election. They’re doing this across multiple continents, and they’re doing this in a way that they’re trying to cause chaos within the countries,” Haley told CNN’s State of the Union show.
Haley’s comments came on the same day US President Donald Trump tweeted out that “it was time to move forward in working constructively with Russia” and a day after he said, “I had a tremendous meeting yesterday with [Russian] President Putin” on Saturday.
Asked about what happened during the much-anticipated meeting between US President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, at the G20 summit in Hamburg, Haley said that Putin “did exactly what we thought he would do, which is deny” any meddling in US elections.
She went on to say that Russia was trying to “save face,” but couldn’t because “everybody knows that Russia meddled in our [US] elections.”
Speaking about why Trump would not openly say that Russia interfered in the US’ 2016 elections, Haley, asserted that “talk is one thing, actions are another,” adding that election meddling was “the first thing” Trump talked about during his meeting with Putin and “he did it for a reason.”
“He wanted him to basically look him in the eye, let him know that, ‘Yes, we know you meddled in our elections. Yes, we know you did it. Cut it out,” Haley added.
She went on to say that “we can’t trust Russia and we won’t ever trust Russia.”
Commenting on the cybersecurity initiatives that Trump and Putin discussed during their meeting, she said one “keeps those one does not trust closer so that one always can keep an eye on them and keep them in check.”
At the same time, she admitted that “from a cyber[security] standpoint, we need to get together with Russia, we need to tell them what we think should or should not happen.”
“If we talk to them about it, hopefully, we can cut it out and get them to stop,” she added.
Earlier on Sunday, Trump said in a Twitter post that he and Putin had discussed forming an impenetrable cybersecurity unit during their G20 summit meeting. He also said he had “strongly pressed” Putin “twice about Russian meddling in our election,” while noting that the Russian leader had “vehemently denied it.”
Putin confirmed on Saturday that the accusations claiming that Russia meddled in the US elections had been raised during his conversation with Trump, while reiterating that there is no reason to believe Russia interfered in the US electoral process.
While on an official visit in Ukraine on Sunday, US State Secretary Rex Tillerson said the US had expected Putin to say that the election meddling accusations were groundless during his meeting with Trump.
“I think, in all candidness, we did not expect an answer other than one we’ve received, so it was about the way we’d expected the conversation to go,” the state secretary said.
He also pointed out that this issue “stands as an obstacle to our ability to improve the relationship between the US and Russia and it needs to be addressed in terms of how we assure the American people that interference into our elections will not occur by Russia or anyone else.”