Former Defense Secretary James Mattis on Thursday called out Russia for having “mucked around” in the U.S. election, and refused to say if it should be permitted back into the G-7 as President Donald Trump has urged.
In an interview on CNN’s “The Lead” with host Jake Tapper, where Mattis was promoting his new book, “Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead,” Mattis noted the G-7 is an international intergovernmental economic organization and Russia’s re-admission is “in more of the economic vein.”
“I won’t comment on that, but we’ll have to deal with the [Russia President Vladimir] Putin that is, not the Putin we wanted,” he said.
“I remember in the 1990s, when Russian Marines and U.S. Marines trained together in North Carolina for peacekeeping operations,” he continued. “Those days are long past now. We’re going to have to recognize they’ve mucked around in our elections, that they’ve invaded two countries in seized territory. And we’ll have to deal with this. And the only way to deal with it is with allies.”