Tillerson: We 'cannot reset' relations with Russian Federation

Tillerson Says Comey Firing Didn't Raise Alarms on Independence

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in an interview to be broadcast on NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday that he is unconcerned about his independence in the wake of President Donald Trump firing FBI Director James Comey.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Wednesday, April 12, 2017 that relations with Moscow are at a low point after meetings in Russian Federation that seemed to do little to bridge a deepening diplomatic divide over a chemical attack in Syria. "I think it's been well documented, it's pretty well understood the nature of that interference here and elsewhere", he said.

"I don't think there's any question that the Russians were playing around in our electoral processes", he said. And so that's my only line. "We're starting with the slate we have", Tillerson said.

Asked about USA intelligence reports that Russia meddled in last year's United States presidential election campaign, Tillerson said, "I don't think there's any question that the Russians were playing around in our electoral processes".

Asked about Trump's campaign vow to move the USA embassy in Israel to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, Tillerson said the president is taking "a very deliberative approach".

"America's values of freedom, of treatment of people, human dignity, freedom of expression throughout the world. serve as the boundaries as we develop our foreign policy approaches and our diplomatic efforts", Tillerson told Todd on Meet the Press.

Russian interference in the 2016 US election has been "well documented", but it's still in the interests of the U.S.to attempt to improve relations with Moscow, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said. I am devoted to helping the president achieve his objectives, helping him be successful.

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Tillerson said the United States and Russian Federation have numerous major issues to consider, but said he has no question in his own mind that Russian Federation interfered.

Well, Chuck, I think we have such a broad range of important issues that have to be addressed in the U.S. -Russia relationship.

Asked what repercussions the Russians should face for interfering in the USA election, Tillerson did not offer any specifics. After voicing skepticism about the allegations, Trump has since said he believes Russian Federation was behind the hacking campaign targeting Democrats but that it had no impact on the outcome of the vote.

"We're not trying to start with a clean slate", Tillerson said. "You can not reset. You can not erase the past". "We don't give anyone a free pass on any of them", Tillerson added.

And you know, these are not new tactics on the part of the Russian government, directed not only at us but at others.

"And 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", he said.

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