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Mattis says Russia tried to 'muck around' US vote, again

AFP  |  Washington 

US said Saturday that tried to meddle in the US midterm elections last month -- just as it did in the 2016 vote that brought to power.

The already strained ties between and have "no doubt" worsened over Russian's continued attempts to interfere in the US voting process, said at the Reagan National Defense Forum in

Russian "tried again to muck around in our elections this last month, and we are seeing a continued effort along those lines," the said.

Putin has "continued efforts to try to subvert democratic processes that must be defended," said, stressing he was unsure whether there were growing threats from

"We'll do whatever is necessary to defend them." Mattis spoke as suddenly scrapped a planned meeting with Putin at the summit of world leaders in Buenos Aires, Argentina, citing a Russian military intervention in

Ahead of last month's vote, and shut down thousands of Russian-controlled accounts, while 14 people from Russia's notorious troll farm, the Internet Research Agency, were indicted.

And US law enforcement agencies warned that "Americans should be aware that foreign actors -- and in particular -- continue to try to influence public sentiment and voter perceptions through actions intended to sow discord."

The troll farm's chief, named as Yelena Khusyainova, was indicted by the days before the November 6 midterms, becoming the first person to face charges of interfering in the US vote.

Russia in turn condemned the US for indicting her, saying the accusations were fabricated in order to impose further sanctions on

Trump himself is at the center of a probe into whether his 2016 presidential campaign conspired with Russian operatives to tilt the election in his favor.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, December 02 2018. 09:30 IST