Mattis: Russia tried to interfere in 2018 midterms

“There is no doubt the relationship has worsened. He tried again to muck around in our elections this last month,” Mattis said. “We are seeing a continued effort around those lines.”

Mattis said the Trump administration and other NATO allies have pressed Russia repeatedly on un-democratic actions, but to no avail.

“This is a very complex situation because clearly Mr. Putin is a slow learner,” Mattis said. “He is not recognizing that what he is doing is actually creating the animosity against his people.”