Nicki Haley Says Russian Interference Is Act Of War

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Nikki Haley, the United States' ambassador to the United Nations, has described Russia's alleged interference in the 2016 election as an act of war.

At a panel discussion Oct. 19 with former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Haley said that Russia's alleged use of fake social media accounts amounted to "warfare," CNN reported.

She also urged the U.S. to hold Russia accountable.

"The Russians, God bless them, they're asking why are Americans anti-Russian," she said. "And why have we done sanctions? Well don't interfere in our elections and we won't be anti-Russian."

Haley has blamed Russia in the past for interfering in the election process.

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"Everybody knows that Russia meddled in our elections," she said in July. "Everybody knows that they're not just meddling in the United States' election. They're doing this across multiple continents, and they're doing this in a way that they're trying to cause chaos within the countries."

Haley's remarks came the same day as senators introduced a bill they said would restrict Russian-purchased ads online.

The proposal, which will update election laws to include digital advertising, was presented by Democratic Sens. Mark Warner and Amy Klobuchar.

If passed into law, the measure would require providers such as Facebook and Twitter to keep a public file on anyone spending more than $500 on an ad. Details required to be in such a file would include copies of the ads, contact details for the individual or group that purchased them, and the number of views the ad has garnered.

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Social media platform companies have previously argued that they can self-police their online services. But Klobuchar stressed that a new law is needed.

"It has to cover everyone," Klobuchar stated, according to ABC News. "You can't just have a few companies doing it voluntarily."

She also looked to the future.

"Our next election is only 383 days away, Russia will keep trying to divide our country," she added.

The two senators hope to pass the legislation in early 2018.

In his comments, Warner took aim at President Donald Trump.

"Many members of the Trump administration acknowledge this problem," he said. "I don't think we are helped in terms of making Americans fully aware when the president continues to dismiss the evidence of Russian intervention."

But according to CIA Director Mike Pompeo, any Russian interference that did take place was not decisive.

"The intelligence community's assessment is that the Russian meddling that took place did not affect the outcome of the election," Pompeo said Oct. 19, according to RT.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has similarly dismissed the allegations.

"Somebody lost the election to Mr. Trump -- the whole blame was pinned on Russia, and frantic anti-Russian hysteria unfolded," he said. "Any failure is linked to Russia. Look for Russian trail in any issue."

Sources: CNN, ABC News, RT / Featured Image: U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv/Flickr / Embedded Images: The White House/Flickr, Kremlin via Wikimedia Commons

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