On Monday night, the White House directed reporters to a formal statement from the State Department, which said: “There is never a justification for this type of attack — the attempted murder of a private citizen on the soil of a sovereign nation — and we are outraged that Russia appears to have again engaged in such behavior.”
Mr. Tillerson spoke to reporters while on a flight from Nigeria to Cape Verde. Hours earlier, Britain’s prime minister, Theresa May, said it was “highly likely” that Russia was to blame, and she demanded answers from the Kremlin.
Mr. Tillerson said that he had just spoken with his British counterpart, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, and that the State Department would issue a statement affirming the British findings.
“This is a really egregious act,” Mr. Tillerson said. “It appears that it clearly came from Russia. Whether it came from Russia with the Russian government’s knowledge is not known to me at this point.”
He added that he would be stunned if a government was behind the use of a deadly nerve agent. The former spy, Sergei V. Skripal, once an informant for Britain’s foreign intelligence service, and his daughter, Yulia, were found unconscious on a park bench in of Salisbury, England, and a police officer who