Haley: 'Everybody knows that Russia meddled in our elections'

Haley: Everybody knows Russia meddled
Haley: Everybody knows Russia meddled

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  • US ambassador to the UN said Trump confronted Putin during meeting
  • Haley: Putin did exactly what we thought he would do, which is deny it

Washington (CNN)US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley says Russian President Vladimir Putin denied Moscow interfered in last year's US election in order to "save face."

"This is Russia trying to save face, and they can't, they can't," Haley told CNN's Dana Bash on "State of the Union" Sunday. "Everybody knows that Russia meddled in our elections. 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."
When asked about what happened behind closed doors during Trump and Putin's highly anticipated face-to-face meeting at the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, on Friday, Haley said Trump wanted to look Putin "in the eye."
    "What he did was bring up right away the election meddling, and he did that for a reason," Haley said. "One, he wanted him (Putin) to basically look him in the eye, let him know that, 'Yes, we know you meddled in our elections. Yes we know you did it. Cut it out.' And I think President Putin did exactly what we thought he would do, which is deny it."
    Asked why, if everyone knows Russia interfered in the US election, Trump hasn't said so in such an unequivocal way publicly, Haley reiterated that Trump's meeting was confrontational.
    "Everybody's trying to nitpick what he says and what he doesn't, but talk is one thing, actions are another," she said. "He confronted President Putin. He made it the first thing that he talked about. And I think we have to now see where it goes from here."
    Trump and Putin met for more than two hours Friday afternoon, ending with an agreement on curbing violence in Syria.
    Trump also met with Chinese President Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday amid questions about how the two countries will work against the nuclear threat posed by North Korea.
    Of the meeting, Haley said China "has a choice to make" about what kind of international player it wants to be.
    "I think that there are a lot of options on the table when it comes to dealing with China, and now the ball's in their court," she said. "We are pushing for a resolution that has very harsh sanctions on North Korea. And so China has a choice to make. They're either going to go along with us and the rest of the international community and say, 'Yes, we think that what North Korea did was wrong,' or they're not."
    Haley added that military action against North Korea is an option, as are increased sanctions "in a way that really presses their hard currency." However, Haley said China would have to go along with the sanctions plan since it is North Korea's largest trading partner.
    "If they go along with that, that's fine," she said. "If they don't go along with that, the President has made it clear that he will start looking at trade relations with China."
    Trump urged action on North Korea in the brief public portion of his meeting with Xi on Saturday.
    "Something has to be done about it," Trump argued ominously.
    There will "eventually be a success" against Pyongyang, Trump said. "It may be longer than I like, more than you like, but there will be a success ... one way or the other."