Russia's interference in US election could be considered 'act of war', says Dick Cheney

Former US vice president Dick Cheney has said that Russia’s attempts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election could be considered an “act of war” against the country. Cheney said so while speaking at the Economic Times' Global Business Summit on Monday.

Former Vice President Dick Cheney. Reuters

Former Vice President Dick Cheney. Reuters

Giving an overview of the climate currently prevailing in the US under President Donald Trump, Cheney said, “One of my big concerns is that there will be another major attack. But next time they will not use airline tickets and box cutters, they will use something far deadlier.” Cheney was in office when the 9/11 attacks took place during the George W Bush administration.

“We have to be concerned about the proliferation of nuclear weapons and all kinds of weapons of mass destruction. That they can fall into the hands of terrorist organisations is a matter of great concern,” he added in the video posted on YouTube.

Cheney in his address spoke about Russian attempts to influence the recent US elections as an example of security threats that can lead to disruption.

"The fact that he (Vladimir Putin) took his capabilities in the cyber area and tried to influence our election, there's not any argument at this stage that somehow the election of President Trump was not legitimate. But there's no question that there was a very serious effort made by Putin and his government to interfere in major ways in our basic fundamental democratic process. In some quarters that will be considered as an act of war,” Cheney said.

"I would not underestimate the weight that we as Americans assign to Russian attempts to interfere with our internal political process," said Cheney.

He also vocalised his thoughts about China as a threat to global security. “China is very active in the South China Sea, claiming territory and building military bases where there were none before. And, I think (the Chinese are) aggressively presenting themselves throughout Asia,” he said.

Cheney also made particularly strong comments on the proliferation of nuclear weapons in North Korea and Iran.

“The possibilities of trouble from that quarter (North Korea and Iran) are almost unlimited. It is a subject that is very much on our minds,” Cheney added.

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Updated Date: Mar 28, 2017 16:20:02 IST

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