Mattis: Russia tried to interfere in 2018 midterms

Mattis: Russia tried to interfere in 2018 midterms

"And we are seeing a continued effort along those lines", Mattis said, adding that the United States would take whatever steps were necessary to defend American democracy.

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis branded Russian President Putin as untrustworthy and a "slow learner" over what he called Moscow's repeated attempts to "muck around" in US domestic affairs.

Notably calling President Vladimir Putin out by name, Mattis said that Putin's actions have become a catalyst for North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries to "rearm and to strengthen" on a unified and democratic level.

"We are dealing with Putin's duplicitous violation of the INF treaty", he said, noting that while the United States remains in compliance, Russian Federation does not. Russian Federation has denied meddling. US prosecutors in October charged a Russian national with playing a financial role in a Kremlin-backed plan to conduct "information warfare" against the United States, including attempts to influence the midterm election.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Saturday took aim at Russian President Vladimir Putin, accusing him of trying to "muck around" in the USA midterm elections, of duplicity in arms control and of acting irresponsibly in last weekend's naval confrontation with Ukraine.


Russia said the Ukrainian ships had breached the Russian border and conducted unsafe movements in spite of Russia's orders.

Mattis said, in the Indo-Pacific region, we keep our decades-old alliances strong by building new partnerships.

Mattis also asserted that Russian Federation had interfered in the November midterm elections for Congress, though he gave no details nor provided any further evidence. Trump tweeted while on his way to Buenos Aires.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday said the Ukraine events were the only reason Trump canceled his planned formal meeting with Putin in Argentina, not developments in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation probe.

"Mr. Putin clearly comes tight".

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