U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said Thursday that interference in U.S. elections by another nation “is warfare,” telling an audience in New York that such meddling has become Russia’s go-to tactic. “I will tell you that when a country can come interfere in another country’s elections, that is warfare. It really is, because you’re making sure that the democracy shifts from what the people want to giving out that misinformation,” Haley said Thursday at a forum hosted in New York by the George W. Bush institute. ”And we didn’t just see it here. You can look at France and you can look at other countries. They are doing this everywhere. This is their new weapon of choice. And we have to make sure we get in front of it.”
While President Donald Trump has questioned at times whether the Russian government was behind a campaign of cyberattacks targeting last year’s presidential race, Haley and other administration officials have been unequivocal in blaming the Kremlin for the 2016 election meddling.
Russia’s 2016 efforts in the U.S. matched a pattern of Kremlin campaigns to influence elections across Europe, including in Baltic states and most recently in France, where centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron defeated right-wing populist Marine Le Pen.
Haley said U.S. intelligence agencies are “working overtime” to combat cybersecurity threats.