TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) - Tillerson told Fox News that the US, along with its “allies and partners,” has identified “certain behaviors” apparently pointing to nefarious Moscow meddling in upcoming elections across the Western world. The Secretary of State did not elaborate about what kind of “behaviors” he was referring to.
Despite over a year of highly politicized investigations leading to no concrete evidence of Russian influence in the 2016 presidential election, Tillerson took a rather fatalist view of America’s ability to avoid “more” interference.
Claiming that Russia can utilize “many tools” to meddle in this year’s midterms, Tillerson said that it was difficult to say whether the US was “better prepared” to deal with the alleged interference, “because the Russians will adapt as well.”
“The point is, if it’s their intention to interfere, they are going to find ways to do that. We can take steps we can take, but this is something that, once they decide they are going to do it, it’s very difficult to preempt it,” Tillerson said.
Tillerson added that Washington will continue to tell Moscow that it “sees what you’re doing” and “you need to stop,” vowing that the Russians will continue to face “consequences” if the alleged and highly sneaky meddling does not immediately desist.
Unsubstantiated allegations of Russian interference in elections across the world have become ubiquitous in Washington.
Speaking in Mexico City on Saturday, Tillerson urged America’s southern neighbor to stay diligent in the face of potential Russian meddling in internal Mexican affairs, stating during a news conference with Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray Caso that “all I can say to you is that we know that Russia has fingerprints in a number of countries around the world.”
Tillerson did not find it necessary to cite evidence in support of his incendiary claim.