Mattis: Putin 'tried again to muck around in our elections'

Mattis: Putin 'tried again to muck around in our elections'

"We'll do whatever is necessary to defend them".

Mattis, 68, a former U.S. Marine Corps general, said the U.S. and it's allies would show respect for other nation's sovereignty while exercising "constructive vigilance".

"This is a very complex situation because clearly Mr. Putin is a slow learner", Mattis said.

"Based on the fact that the ships and sailors have not been returned to Ukraine from Russian Federation, I have decided it would be best for all parties concerned to cancel my previously scheduled meeting in Argentina with President Vladimir Putin", Trump said.

"We are dealing with Putin's duplicitous violation of the INF treaty", he said, noting that while the U.S. remains in compliance, Russian Federation does not.

Russia said the Ukrainian ships had breached the Russian border and conducted unsafe movements in spite of Russia's orders.

During the forum, former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Russian Federation will continue to undermine its neighbors, but also the United States in order to project its strength.

In addition, Mattis said that Russian Federation attempted to intervene in the mid-term elections in the United States last month - just like in 2016. He recognizes that what he does is actually creates hostility against his people.

"We will re-energize our arms control efforts, but the onus is on Russian Federation", he said.

Speaking in Buenos Aires, Putin told reporters Saturday there were no preconditions for future bilateral talks with Trump.

While Trump spoke briefly with Putin on the sidelines of the summit, he chose to cancel the two leaders' formal meeting.

Now more than ever, it's time to send "a clear message" to Putin, Panetta said Saturday.

"Ludicrous; Washington parlor game", Pompeo said in a CNN interview at the G-20 meeting when asked whether Trump was motivated to cancel the meeting by Cohen's guilty plea.

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