At the March 27 Economic Times' Global Business Summit, former Vice President Dick Cheney addressed allegations that the Russian government interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election in order to ensure President Donald Trump's victory.
"There's no question that there was a very serious effort made by Mr. Putin and his government, his organization, to interfere in major ways with our basic fundamental democratic processes," Cheney said at the summit, according to Business Insider. "In some quarters, that could be considered an act of war."
At the conference, Cheney also spoke of a "rising number of threats" in the world that could "even pose a threat to the globalization movements you're here to talk about today," including the bold steps Russian President Vladimir Putin has taken toward the Baltic region with military intervention and cyber attacks. But the issue of greatest concern, the Republican said, is Russia's alleged collusion to influence the American election.
"I would not underestimate the weight that we as Americans assign to Russian attempts to interfere with our process," Cheney added.
Questions about the alleged connections between Trump's campaign and Russian officials remain as the FBI, the Senate and the House of Representatives continue to investigate the issue, according to CNN. The Senate Intelligence Committee is opening its doors for its first public hearing, scheduled for the week of March 27, while the House will meet privately.
FBI Director James Comey announced on March 20 that the bureau would look for links between Moscow and the Trump campaign.
"That includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia's efforts," Comey testified in front of the House Intelligence Committee, notes CNN.
Comey also stated that American intelligence officials are in agreement that Russia did indeed meddle in the election to some degree.
"They wanted to hurt our democracy, hurt [Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton], help [Trump]," he added. "I think all three we were confident in at least as early as December."
Meanwhile, the Senate is looking to interrogate Trump's son-in-law and top adviser, Jared Kushner, on the nature of his communications with Russian officials during the campaign. Kushner, who served as the point person to speak with foreign governments, has volunteered to testify to the committee to disclose pertinent details of those meetings, the White House confirmed.