Defense secretary Jim Mattis serves up a strong condemnation of Russia's aggression

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis strongly condemned Russia's escalating provocations during a press conference at the Pentagon on Tuesday, following the Trump administration's move to expel 60 Russian diplomats on Monday.When asked how he viewed Russia's latest aggressions, Mattis said, "Attempted murder of a man and his daughter, how's that for starters," referring to the poisoning of the former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and Skripal's daughter, Yulia, in Britain. The two remain hospitalized.

Several countries have kicked out Russian diplomats over the attack."The brazen and criminal attack was an attack on all of us," Australian Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull said Tuesday, after expelling two Russian diplomats from his country.

Russia has denied any wrongdoing.

Mattis suggested on Tuesday that he is not convinced: "They point out that it can't be proven who had tried to kill the person in Salisbury," Mattis said. "They're doing things they believe are deniable."

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