Arizona Republican Senator John McCain doesn’t know what to make of President-elect Donald Trump’s dismissal of Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
“I don’t know what to make of it because it’s clear the Russians interfered,” he told CBS’ Face the Nation this past Sunday. “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. But facts are stubborn things. They did hack into this campaign.”
McCain was responding to a question about the intelligence officials’ report that found Russia responsible for influencing the election in favor of Trump.
McCain, the Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman, proceeded to call for a congressional investigation into the extent of Russia’s influence on the election, and the country’s intentions now that Trump will become president.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell echoed McCain’s words the following day, without going as far as saying that Russia interfered to support Trump. According to the reporters who attended the press conference, he refused to comment about Trump disparaging the CIA’s report.
“We need to approach all these on the assumption the Russians do not wish us well,” McConnell said according to The New York Times. McConnell supports a federally sanctioned inquiry into Russia’s involvement in the U.S. election as well, saying there was “no doubt about the hacking” by Russian intelligence services.
Trump, for his part, has called the new revelations about Russia helping him get elected “ridiculous” in an interview on Fox News Sunday, adding that “it’s just another excuse. I don’t believe it… Every week it’s another excuse. We had a massive landslide victory, as you know, in the Electoral College.”
Yet, as The Wall Street Journal reported, Trump’s — assumed — new pick for secretary of state, ExxonMobil CEO and Chairman Rex Tillerson, has a history of working with Russian President Vladimir Putin to secure oil rights. The Kremlin even bestowed Tillerson with Russia’s Order of Friendship medal in 2013.
“It’s a matter of concern to me that he has such a close personal relationship with Vladimir Putin,” McCain said about Tillerson on Face The Nation. “And obviously they’ve done enormous deals together and that would color his approach to Vladimir Putin and the Russian threat.”
Next, read about the “overwhelming evidence” that Russia interfered with the 2016 U.S. presidential election, before checking out why yet another Republican Electoral College member is saying no to President-elect Donald Trump.