The Secretary of State has previously said he is committed to improving relations, but he tempered any expectations for a Russian "reset" like former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton attempted in 2009. Can't start with a clean slate until maybe they either own up to what they did, or we punish them in a way that they're not going to do this again.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson during an interview that aired Sunday said the relationship between the USA and Russian Federation is at its lowest point in decades. "When I'm not clear on what his objectives are, we talk about it", Tillerson said, adding that he would "never compromise my own values".
"I have a great relationship with the president". I think it's been well documented, it's pretty well understood, the nature of that interference, here and elsewhere. "With those words, Secretary Tillerson sent a message to oppressed people everywhere", McCain argued, "'Don't look to the United States for hope'". "A policy has to be tailored to the individual situation". "To the country. To its circumstances".
Well, Chuck, I think we have such a broad range of important issues that have to be addressed in the U.S. -Russia relationship.
The Republican senator wrote in a New York Times op-ed earlier this month that Tillerson's warning against "conditioning our foreign policy too heavily on values" told oppressed people the world over that the U.S. would not help them if doing so comes in conflict with moves to benefit USA interests. "We don't give anyone a free pass on any of them", he said.
One of those national security objectives, Tillerson said, is to try to establish a better relationship with Russian Federation despite that nation's interference in last year's USA presidential election.
Tillerson said the sudden dismissal of Comey, less than four years into a 10-year term, didn't create concerns about how much independence he would have as America's top diplomat.
Speaking on NBC on Sunday, Tillerson reiterated that relations had fallen to "an all-time low point since the end of the Cold War, with a very low level of trust".
The Kremlin denies it interfered in the election. "They're (repercussions) just part of that broader landscape of conversations", he said.
Tillerson's answer was all about minimizing election interference and discussing how the world wants the United States and Russian Federation to better friends.