Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) on Sunday again decried Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 presidential race and called for a select Senate committee to investigate the country’s cyber activities during the election. On CNN’s “State of the Union,” McCain told host Jake Tapper that there was “no doubt” Russia interfered with the election. “We need to get to the bottom of this,” he said. “There’s no doubt they were interfering. There’s no doubt. The question is now, how much and what damage? And what should the United States of America do?” Earlier this month, the CIA concluded in a secret assessment that Russia meddled in the election to help Donald Trump win the presidency. FBI Director James B. Comey and Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. agreed with the CIA’s assessment. Tapper asked whether McCain was concerned that Trump has not denounced Russia’s alleged interference — while maintaining a “friendly posture” toward Russian President Vladimir Putin.
McCain, who has at times been a vocal critic of Trump, on Sunday seemed to avoid directly finding fault with the president-elect’s approach to Russia. “No, I have not heard [Trump] criticize Putin,” McCain told Tapper. “I think reality is going to intercede at one point or another just because of the Russian activities. I hope that with people like [retired Marine Gen. James Mattis and others] that he will very quickly understand what the Russians are all about.”
Last week, Hillary Clinton, in audio obtained by the New York Times, partly blamed her loss on “the unprecedented Russian plot to swing this election.”
“And this is something every American should be worried about,” Clinton told campaign donors Thursday night. “You know, we have to recognize that, as the latest reports made clear, Vladimir Putin himself directed the covert cyber attacks against our electoral system, against our democracy, apparently because he has a personal beef against me.”