Russian meddling in US election could be possibly an act of war: Cheney

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Former US Vice President Dick Cheney speaks at the Global Business Summit in the Indian capital New Delhi on March 27, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Former US Vice President Dick Cheney has said that Russia’s (alleged) interference in the 2016 presidential election could be "considered an act of war.”

Cheney made the remarks at the Economic Times’ Global Business Summit in the Indian capital of New Delhi on Monday, after several Democratic lawmakers also made similar statements regarding Russia and its leadership.

“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 Mr. Putin and his government, his organization, to interfere in major ways with our basic, fundamental democratic processes,” he said. “In some quarters, that would be considered an act of war.”

In a declassified report released in January, the US intelligence community concluded that Russian President Vladimir Putin helped Trump win the White House, an allegation dismissed both by Moscow and Trump.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban give a joint press conference on February 2, 2017 in Budapest. (Photo by AFP)

During his presidential campaign and afterwards, Trump repeatedly praised Putin and called for closer ties between Washington and Moscow, despite the hacking allegations.

Cheney warned the Trump administration against improving ties with Russia under the leadership of Putin, saying the Russia leader has operated “in ways that none of his predecessors have done for the last 40 years.”

“I would not underestimate the weight that we as Americans assign to the Russian attempts to interfere with our internal political processes,” said Cheney, who served as President George W. Bush’s No. 2.

The US intelligence community has reportedly shared with foreign governments the classified version of their report on what they believe was a Russian plot to help Trump defeat his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

Hillary Clinton delivers remarks at the Children's Defense Fund's Beat the Odds Celebration at the Newseum on November 16, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by AFP)

The Russian president wants to “undermine the perceived validity of the democratic model and try to suggest an authoritarian model is equally valid,” has accused Senator Tim Kaine, Clinton’s vice presidential running mate in last year’s election.

Despite Russia’s alleged cyber attacks of mostly Democratic officials during the US presidential race, several American intelligence officials, however, privately acknowledge there is no evidence that hackers altered the result of the election itself.

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