Tillerson Not Using $80M to Fight ISIS, Russian Propaganda

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov meet

"There's paranoia and inertia - decisions are not being made", a State Department official told the website.

"The United States prefers a constructive relationship with Russian Federation based on mutual cooperation and common interest", Pence said.

"I told President Putin when I saw him in the Kremlin in March and I've told Foreign Minister Lavrov repeatedly, "The situation's bad, but believe me, it can get worse" - and it just did", Tillerson told reporters.

Tillerson has not filled almost 200 senior posts in the department, having resisted putting many people in place while he carries out a State Department restructuring so he can fulfill Trump's request to slash $10 billion from its budget.

Tillerson and President Donald Trump have been working to mend relations with Russian Federation from their "all-time low point" (in Tillerson's words) after US intelligence agencies issued a report early this year concluding that the Kremlin worked to interfere in the 2016 election. If Trump were to veto the bill, Congress would nearly surely override his veto.

Washington still maintains economic sanctions on Tehran for its ballistic missile program, its support for terrorism and its human rights abuses.

The bill needs to be signed off by the president before going into effect.

Trump Administration Announces Sanctions Against Maduro Regime
In addition to the call for a boycott of the election, the opposition has also planned a big demonstration in Caracas on Friday. It will also, the author argues, trigger a massive exodus of refugees, many of whom will wish to come to the United States.

In case of Russia's response to the United States sanctions, Tillerson said any leader would take symmetrical action in response to such a move.

As we recently discussed, Trump is giving Putin what he wants in Syria, while simultaneously isolating the United States diplomatically, fracturing Western alliances, largely ignoring Russia's attack on the USA elections - all of which serve Moscow's strategic goals. But he also suggested that Americans support the Trump administration's overtures to establish a warmer relationship with Russian Federation.

"In terms of their response to that action, I think it's important to recognize that any leader of any country has their whole population watching them as well".

In a rare question-and-answer session, Tillerson recalled Trump's meeting with Sergey Lavrov, Putin's top diplomat, three months ago.

Tillerson twice noted his frustration with appointments at the department, even referencing the young son of his chief of staff, who attended the news conference.

The next substantive conversation about how to move forward will likely be over the weekend. In Manila, he will participate in the ASEAN Regional Forum, the East Asia Summit Ministerial, the U.S. -ASEAN Ministerial, and the Lower Mekong Initiative Ministerial.

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