Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona said there's no doubt “the Russians interfered” with the 2016 presidential election, but admitted that little is known about the extent or goals of any such interference.
“Whether they intended to interfere to the degree that they were trying to elect a certain candidate, I think that’s a subject of investigation,” McCain told CBS' “Face the Nation,” according to KTAR.
“Facts are stubborn things. They did hack into this campaign and they did it, I think, with, at least, with some effective of every week or so there was new information,” he added.
In a joint statement released by McCain, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, and Democratic Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island, the bi-partisan group responded to a Washington Post article that cited a CIA report blaming unnamed Russian hackers for stealing Democratic National Committee emails and releasing them to the public.
“For years, foreign adversaries have directed cyberattacks at America’s physical, economic, and military infrastructure, while stealing our intellectual property,” the statement read. “Now our democratic institutions have been targeted. Recent reports of Russian interference in our election should alarm every American.”
The Arizona senator has long advocated for stronger U.S. foreign policy and military action against Russia.
In 2014, in response to Russian aggression in Eastern Ukraine, McCain advocated for stronger sanctions against the Russians and for military assistance to the Ukrainians.
“We need to expand sanctions to major Russian banks, energy companies, and sectors of its economy, such as the arms and mining industries, which serve as instruments of Putin’s foreign policy,” McCain said in a statement, along with Sen. Graham. “We need to meet the Ukrainian government’s requests for meaningful military assistance – including anti-air, anti-tank, and other defensive weapons – as part of a long-term effort to help Ukraine reform and rebuild its armed forces.”