STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Russia investigation a challenge for US-Moscow relations, Tillerson says

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that the ongoing investigation into alleged cooperation between the Trump campa...

Posted: Jan 6, 2018 4:32 PM
Updated: Jan 6, 2018 4:32 PM

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that the ongoing investigation into alleged cooperation between the Trump campaign and Russia has had no impact on his work with overseas counterparts.

"It has had no impact," Tillerson said in an exclusive interview with CNN's Elise Labott Friday. "I'll say that it's had none."

Tillerson said the Russia investigation hasn't impacted work with Russian counterparts

He said he hopes Russia doesn't try to interfere in 2018 midterms

The secretary of state spoke to CNN in an exclusive interview

That contradicts President Donald Trump, who told The New York Times last month that the investigation "makes the country look very bad, and it puts the country in a very bad position."

Tillerson elaborated: "It never comes up in our conversations or in my bilats or my dialogues with world leaders elsewhere."

"The domestic issues around the Russia involvement in our elections are not part of our dialogue elsewhere," he said. "I think the rest of the world recognizes it is a domestic issue, it's an important one."

Tillerson discussed the challenges of the US relationship with Russia, now intractably complicated by ongoing investigations by the special counsel Robert Mueller and by multiple congressional committees. Trump has argued for improved relations with Russia in places like Syria, but Moscow's actions in Ukraine along with its interference in the US election have pushed that goal out of reach.

"It has been a difficult year with Russia," Tillerson said. "I've said clearly, the president stated clearly, our two nations should have a more productive relationship. Today it's very strained for all reasons that I think the American people well understand."

Despite that, Tillerson said, "we have maintained a constant engagement with Russia, very active engagement." The two sides focus on areas where they can and do cooperate -- Syria and the fight against ISIS, creating stability in Eastern Europe, and treaty talks on arms control.

He added that he's made plain to Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov what Russia must to do improve relations between the US and Russia.

"We have made it clear that the keystone is really Ukraine," Tillerson said, referring to Russia's annexation of Crimea and its ongoing support for militias in eastern Ukraine.

What about 2018?

When he does talk to the Russians, Tillerson said he raises the issue of Moscow's interference in the 2016 election campaign, stressing that it brings them no benefits.

"We talk about it and we have said to them look it's a problem." Asked if he thinks they will meddle again in November's midterm elections, the top US diplomat said there was no evidence of that yet.

"I hope they don't," he said. "But we do know that Russia has involved themselves in other elections," referring to voting in European countries.

When he talks to Russians, Tillerson said he tells them, "that I don't understand why you do this. I don't understand what you think you're getting for this, because it's not evident to me as to how's this benefiting you."

Instead, Tillerson argued, "it damages Russia because we're not making progress and they're not making progress with others."

West Lafayette
Clear
76° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 76°
Kokomo
Partly Cloudy
75° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 75°
Rensselaer
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 78°
Fowler
Clear
76° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 76°
Williamsport
Clear
80° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 79°
Crawfordsville
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 73°
Frankfort
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 73°
Delphi
Clear
74° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 74°
Monticello
Clear
74° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 74°
Logansport
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 78°
Warming up with plenty of sunshine!
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 947918

Reported Deaths: 15377
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1291181990
Lake635721103
Allen53899761
Hamilton44082449
St. Joseph42122590
Elkhart33803491
Vanderburgh30574449
Tippecanoe26915251
Johnson23727418
Hendricks22410342
Porter21832347
Clark17562231
Madison17492385
Vigo16302285
Monroe14545191
LaPorte14389239
Delaware14183222
Howard13971273
Kosciusko11498135
Hancock10935166
Warrick10737178
Bartholomew10635170
Floyd10514208
Wayne10077226
Grant9213204
Morgan8928160
Boone8463111
Dubois7791123
Dearborn769490
Henry7691133
Noble7466101
Marshall7409128
Cass7219118
Lawrence7026153
Shelby6647111
Jackson661386
Gibson6190107
Harrison609386
Huntington604495
Montgomery5853105
DeKalb581091
Knox5535104
Miami548888
Putnam543268
Clinton537465
Whitley529354
Steuben501768
Wabash488692
Jasper483861
Jefferson474492
Ripley457777
Adams446068
Daviess4231108
Scott409165
Clay394957
White393858
Greene393392
Wells389884
Decatur388797
Fayette378578
Posey362341
Jennings356056
Washington334747
LaGrange325175
Spencer321136
Fountain318455
Randolph317190
Sullivan309449
Owen287064
Starke282864
Fulton280454
Orange277859
Jay257038
Perry254152
Carroll245229
Franklin242838
Rush237030
Vermillion235050
Parke221420
Tipton212055
Pike211740
Blackford170534
Pulaski168551
Crawford147318
Newton145845
Benton143916
Brown135846
Martin130217
Switzerland126910
Warren115616
Union98511
Ohio80511
Unassigned0482

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events