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."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 941120

Reported Deaths: 15315
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1282511983
Lake633041097
Allen53609758
Hamilton43827447
St. Joseph41906590
Elkhart33545490
Vanderburgh30383448
Tippecanoe26820249
Johnson23609417
Hendricks22250341
Porter21737346
Clark17409229
Madison17366384
Vigo16108281
Monroe14466191
LaPorte14311239
Delaware14070221
Howard13865272
Kosciusko11418135
Hancock10841165
Warrick10674177
Bartholomew10542168
Floyd10430205
Wayne9959226
Grant9130204
Morgan8865160
Boone8389111
Dubois7710123
Dearborn762289
Henry7608130
Noble7413101
Marshall7362128
Cass7176117
Lawrence6957153
Shelby6584111
Jackson656785
Gibson6156107
Harrison603786
Huntington600195
Montgomery5805105
DeKalb574291
Knox5494104
Miami542488
Putnam536768
Clinton533665
Whitley524953
Steuben497268
Wabash483592
Jasper479160
Jefferson470092
Ripley454277
Adams444068
Daviess4169108
Scott405865
White391857
Clay390857
Greene388392
Decatur385296
Wells384983
Fayette374278
Posey359941
Jennings353156
Washington332047
LaGrange321375
Spencer317835
Fountain316555
Randolph312888
Sullivan307449
Owen283863
Starke280064
Fulton277553
Orange275859
Jay254837
Perry251652
Carroll243729
Franklin239338
Rush234130
Vermillion233250
Parke219820
Tipton209655
Pike207639
Blackford168334
Pulaski163551
Crawford146018
Newton144345
Benton142516
Brown135346
Martin128217
Switzerland125810
Warren114616
Union96911
Ohio79711
Unassigned0479

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1365800

Reported Deaths: 21596
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1522221560
Cuyahoga1344852327
Hamilton976051320
Montgomery670271141
Summit562091047
Lucas50900863
Butler47417655
Stark41580976
Lorain31567532
Warren30001331
Mahoning26963639
Clermont25628292
Lake24585417
Delaware22313145
Licking20487241
Fairfield20420221
Greene20309272
Trumbull19866509
Medina19796287
Clark17879328
Richland16314234
Portage16130229
Wood15681208
Allen14115256
Miami13786253
Muskingum12641152
Wayne11946238
Columbiana11708241
Tuscarawas10953269
Marion10725148
Pickaway10465129
Scioto10324127
Erie9747171
Ross9436176
Lawrence8755125
Hancock8458141
Ashtabula8317185
Geauga8173156
Belmont8140187
Jefferson7527172
Huron7423128
Union731851
Washington7183120
Athens697165
Sandusky6848134
Darke6756136
Knox6671122
Seneca6358137
Ashland5948113
Auglaize587188
Shelby5727101
Brown564171
Mercer557890
Defiance5483101
Madison543371
Crawford5425114
Highland541581
Fulton530683
Clinton525580
Logan512182
Preble4994110
Putnam4833106
Guernsey470364
Williams459282
Perry449852
Champaign445964
Ottawa436884
Jackson425362
Pike388843
Morrow383851
Fayette375853
Coshocton374766
Adams360675
Hardin359069
Gallia347356
Holmes3259108
Henry324668
Van Wert314670
Hocking301769
Wyandot280658
Carroll262652
Paulding242243
Meigs213942
Monroe189749
Noble169340
Morgan165829
Harrison157940
Vinton138118
Unassigned05
Fort Wayne
Cloudy
55° wxIcon
Hi: 56° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 55°
Angola
Cloudy
50° wxIcon
Hi: 53° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 50°
Huntington
Cloudy
55° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 55°
Decatur
Cloudy
55° wxIcon
Hi: 56° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 55°
Van Wert
Cloudy
52° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 52°
Rain chances continue for at least the first half of Thursday before gradually tapering off.
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events