Russian Federation relations at an "all time low point": Tillerson

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Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in an interview to be broadcast on NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday that he is unconcerned about his independence in the wake of President Donald Trump firing FBI Director James Comey.

The Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson said that the meeting with Russian Federation was about counter-terrorism, while Dina Powell, the deputy national security adviser, called the news story false.

"I think it just speaks to a level of dysfunction at the State Department, in terms of at least the communications effort that I think is truly remarkable", Kirby said.

The top US diplomat spoke before Donald Trump leaves on May 19 for his first overseas trip as president, and days after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, who was leading the investigation into Russia's meddling in the 2016 election campaign.

The secretary of state said it was one of many issues that undermined trust between the two countries and that Russia's role was "well documented" and not in question. But Mr McMaster said on Tuesday that the president "wasn't even aware where this information came from" and "wasn't briefed on the sources and methods".

However, "it's inconclusive as to what, if any, effect it had", he added. It's certainly not healthy for us.

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Trump's presidency has been dogged by the Russian-meddling allegations and investigations by the FBI and congressional committees about contacts between his associates and Russian officials. "I can't really answer that".

Still, "we have to look at this relationship in its broadest contours", Tillerson said.

He declined to say whether Trump, who in the past has criticized human-rights abuses in Saudi Arabia, would raise that issue during a planned speech in Riyadh.

Tillerson said he wants to help President Trump fulfill the promises he made to the millions of Americans who voted him into office, but his top priority is to remain true to his values and to the American people.

When asked what the line was between service to the country and the president was, Tillerson stated that he would never compromise his own values. "Policy has to be tailored to the individual situation".

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