Trump: US will condemn Russia if involvement in attack on ex-spy confirmed

    13 de marzo de 2018

    Washington, Mar 13 (efe-epa).- President Donald Trump said Tuesday that "we will condemn Russia or whoever it may be" when it becomes known who was behind the attack on former Soviet spy Sergey Skripal in England.

    Trump told reporters outside the White House that he would be speaking by telephone with British Prime minister Theresa May on Tuesday and "It sounds to me like it would be Russia based on all the evidence they have.

    "It sounds to me like they believe it was Russia and I would certainly take that finding as fact," he said, adding that "As soon as we get the facts straight, if we agree with them, we will condemn Russia or whoever it may be."

    On Monday night, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson - who had not yet been fired by Trump, a move that came on Tuesday morning - said that he had "full confidence" in the conclusion reached by Britain that there is a high probability Russia was behind the nerve-agent attack on Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the English city of Salisbury.

    "We have full confidence in the UK's investigation and its assessment that Russia was likely responsible for the nerve agent attack that took place in Salisbury last week," Tillerson said in the statement.

    The now-ousted secretary of state added in his Monday night statement that Russia is "an irresponsible force of instability in the world, acting with open disregard for the sovereignty of other states and the life of their citizens."

    May also strongly condemned the attack and promised British action against Russia, hiking Moscow-NATO tensions that had already been high.

    However, on Tuesday morning, Trump announced on Twitter that he was firing Tillerson, effective immediately.

    "Mike Pompeo, Director of the CIA, will become our new Secretary of State. He will do a fantastic job! Thank you to Rex Tillerson for his service! Gina Haspel will become the new Director of the CIA, and the first woman so chosen. Congratulations to all!" tweeted Trump.

    British security agencies believe that Skripal, 66, and his 33-year-old daughter, both of whom are in critical condition in a British hospital, were exposed to a military nerve agent before losing consciousness on a park bench in Salisbury on March 4.

    British army experts determined that the substance is of the "Novichok" variety manufactured by Russia in the past and which Moscow could still have the ability to produce.

    Traces of the nerve agent have also been found in a Salisbury restaurant and pub, authorities say.