John McCain Declares Russian Hacks An ‘Act Of War,’ Calls On Obama To Deliver Swift Punishment

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Though Donald Trump might continue to shower Russian President Vladimir Putin with praise over social media, many of the President-elect’s future partners in government have taken a stance that’s far less charitable. One of the most vocal critics of actions undertaken by Putin during the US presidential election is Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.).

Following a meeting with Ukranian president Petro Porashenko, McCain referred to the Russian hacks as “an act of war.”

‘When you attack a country, it’s an act of war… And so we have to make sure that there is a price to pay so that we can perhaps persuade Russians to stop this kind of attack on our very fundamentals of democracy.’

McCain is chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. According to CNN, he has scheduled a hearing on potential internet-based threats from foreign countries that will focus primarily on Russia. The men planning to testify are James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, NSA Director Mike Rogers, and Marcel Lettre, the Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence.

McCain also plans to form a congressional committee with the goal of investigating whether Russia initiated a hack with the intentions of helping Donald Trump to win the election. Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC) has pledged his support in this endeavor, and the two men issued a statement saying that they intend to take the helm in getting to the bottom of whether the foreign government did indeed conspire to influence the election. The statement began;

‘The retaliatory measures announced by the Obama administration are long overdue. But ultimately, they are a small price for Russia to pay for its brazen attack on American democracy.’

The sanctions announced by the Obama administration are decisive and comprehensive. They include the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats accused by the administration of being intelligence agents, the closure of two compounds being used by Russian diplomatic aides, and a number of economic sanctions on Russian spy services. Trump, predictably, has remained defiant, issuing this tweet late Friday morning in response to Putin’s decision not to retaliate against the US sanctions.

WATCH: Al Jazeera reports on John McCain’s response to Russia.

 

Featured image: Video screen grab via Al Jazeera.