Russia needs to know there are "consequences" for intervening in elections, Haley says

Extended interview: Nikki Haley, June 4
Extended interview: Nikki Haley, June 4 10:29

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said that the international community is "concerned" about Russian election meddling -- and that Russia should know there are "consequences" for interfering in U.S. elections. 

"I can tell you the international community is concerned about Russia's meddling within all of their elections," Haley said on CBS News' "Face the Nation" in an interview airing Sunday. "But they're concerned about Russia for a lot of reasons. And so we'll continue to keep our eye on them. And when we can work with them, we want to try and do that. But when we can't, we're going to hold the line."

That's a slightly different tone than Haley took in an April interview with "Face the Nation."

"No one's talking to me about that," Haley said at the time about Russian election meddling. "What we have talked about is obviously Russia's influence in Ukraine, in which we've been very loud against. You know, talking about Crimea. We've also talked about how Russia needs to help move the Iranian influence out of Syria, how we need to be working on getting ISIS out. Those are the things that are being talked about at the United Nations."

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In this more recent interview, Haley -- when asked why sanctions aren't being imposed on Russia despite reports of election meddling in the U.S. and attempts to meddle in NATO countries -- emphasized the U.S. isn't going easy on Russia. 

"Well, I think that, you know, they're going through the motions of the investigation," Haley said. "I could tell you we've taken actions against Russia in the security council. We've stood strong on the sanctions in their situations with Ukraine. We called them out in their association with the Assad regime."

"We're going continue to call them out as we need to," Haley continued. "At the same time, we are trying to see if we can have talks with them on how to better come in line in the Syrian conflict. We're working with them on counterterrorism. But if we see Russia doing anything wrong, we're going to tell them."

Haley said that she will support whatever Congress decides to do in terms of sanctions against Russia.

"I support whatever Congress comes up with," Haley said. "I mean, I think that, you know, we don't ever want to see a country meddling in our elections. It's a serious thing. I think that we know the vote was not changed because of the meddling of Russia. But it doesn't make it right. And I think that at the end of the day Russia needs to know that there are consequences when they get involved in our election."

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Multiple Russia-related developments have emerged since "Face the Nation" last interviewed Haley. President Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, who was in charge of the Russia investigation. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller to oversee the FBI's Russia probe as a special prosecutor. Mr. Trump relayed "inappropriate" and potentially highly classified information to Russian diplomats. And Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law and senior adviser, is under FBI scrutiny for his contacts with Russian officials.

Pressure is mounting on U.S. officials to take a tougher stance on Russia, even as Mr. Trump himself is reluctant to criticize the Kremlin and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The FBI and congressional investigations into Russian election meddling also appear to be gaining steam. On Thursday, the Senate Intelligence Committee is set to hear testimony from Comey, and will soon receive some subpoenaed documents from embattled former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. Flynn was forced out of the White House in February, after misleading Vice President Mike Pence about his contacts with the Russian ambassador. 

Haley had tough words for another country in the news: North Korea. Tensions between the U.S. and North Korea continue to mount, as the country tests its missile program. The temperature of the North Korea situation right now is "volatile," Haley said.

"I think what you can see is that we have worked very closely with China," Haley said. "China has really stood up in putting the pressure on North Korea. And yesterday the security council voted to increase sanctions on individuals and entities that are related to those ballistic missile tests."

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    Kathryn Watson

    Kathryn Watson is a politics reporter for CBS News Digital based in Washington, D.C.