New reports assert that, on Saturday, Defense Secretary James Mattis stated that members of the Russian government ran interference in this year’s midterm elections.
A Closer Look at Mattis’ Assertions
The Defense Secretary shared his thoughts regarding 2018’s midterms during his earlier interview with Fox News. Mattis’ remarks are as follows:
“There is no doubt the relationship has worsened. He tried again to muck around in our elections this last month. We are seeing a continued effort around those lines.”
Mattis then took additional shots at Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“This is a very complex situation because clearly, Mr. Putin is a slow learner. He is not recognizing that what he is doing is actually creating the animosity against his people. We’re dealing with someone we simply cannot trust.”
The remarks of Defense Secretary Mattis come after President Trump’s recent cancellation of a meeting he previously planned to attend with Putin. The commander-in-chief cited Russia’s failure to return Ukrainian vessels and soldiers as the reason for calling off the scheduled gathering.
Reactions from Other World Leaders and Figures
The aforementioned matter is also of concern to other world leaders. German Chancellor Angela Merkel recently stated that she plans to have words with Putin at the G-20 summit about Russia’s hold on Ukrainian vessels.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has also announced plans to penalize Russian citizens who currently reside in Ukraine. Poroshenko is hoping that said penalties will incentivize the Russian government to return Ukrainian vessels and soldiers.
Alleged Russian Interference in U.S. Elections
Since the 2016 presidential elections, Americans on both sides of the aisle have debated about Russia’s alleged interference in U.S. elections. As a matter of fact, Robert Mueller’s probe into Russia’s alleged meddling in the most recent presidential election remains ongoing. Many Americans have furthermore cited concerns about President Trump’s relationship with the Russian president. Moreover, people in this country maintain that Russia is no friend to the United States.
Russia has strongly denied claims of interfering the 2016 presidential election. Their government also stated that President Trump’s true reason for canceling his meeting with Putin regards Trump’s own administration and not Russia’s hold on Ukrainian vessels.