The Daily Beast reported that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told a group of assembled diplomats in a closed-door meeting that during the 2016 U.S. election, Russia “interfered in democratic process here.”
The comments Tillerson made are risky, considering he recently referred to the President as a “moron” — also behind closed doors. The “moron” comment reportedly angered Trump, and Tillerson’s job is on thin ice.
Publicly, the Secretary of State has said that Russian interference in the 2016 election was a “serious incident” which has damaged relations between the United States and Russia and that election meddling “undermines any hope of improving relations.”
The once positive relationship between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Tillerson has soured.
From a September 2017 Vanity Fair article:
But since Trump’s inauguration and Tillerson’s Senate confirmation, the relationship between the U.S. and Russia has frayed. After Congress forced the president’s hand in leveling a fresh round of sanctions against Moscow in response to Russian election interference, the two countries have engaged in a bout of retaliatory measures. In July, Putin ordered the U.S. to cut its diplomatic staff in Russia by 755. Weeks later, the State Department directed Russia to shutter three diplomatic sites in Washington, D.C., San Francisco, and New York City. The tit-for-tat diplomacy comes amid heightened tensions, as a series of escalating conflicts play out on the world stage, pitting U.S. and Russian interests against each other in North Korea, Ukraine, Iran, and Syria.