There’s not much bipartisan agreement in Congress these days, but the reports that Russia hacked the 2016 presidential election and helped give Donald Trump the victory has brought together two senators from each side of the aisle.
In a statement released Sunday morning, John McCain (R-AZ), Lindsay Graham (R-SC), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and Jack Reed (D-RI) said the hacking needs to be investigated, and measures have to be put in place so that it doesn’t happen again.
Schumer is the incoming Democratic leader in the Senate, while McCain is chairman of Senate Committee on Armed Services.
Here’s the full statement:
“For years, foreign adversaries have directed cyberattacks at America’s physical, economic, and military infrastructure, while stealing our intellectual property. Now our democratic institutions have been targeted. Recent reports of Russian interference in our election should alarm every American.
“Congress’s national security committees have worked diligently to address the complex challenge of cybersecurity, but recent events show that more must be done. While protecting classified material, we have an obligation to inform the public about recent cyberattacks that have cut to the heart of our free society. Democrats and Republicans must work together, and across the jurisdictional lines of the Congress, to examine these recent incidents thoroughly and devise comprehensive solutions to deter and defend against further cyberattacks.
“This cannot become a partisan issue. The stakes are too high for our country. We are committed to working in this bipartisan manner, and we will seek to unify our colleagues around the goal of investigating and stopping the grave threats that cyberattacks conducted by foreign governments pose to our national security.”
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) agrees.
Rand on Russia: “We need to get to the bottom of it. There should be an investigation”— Burgess Everett (@burgessev) December 11, 2016
As does Republican Oklahoma Sen. James Lankford.
Aside from McCain, Graham, and Paul, the Republicans in Congress have mostly been quiet regarding the role Russia played in the 2016 election. Barack Obama has called for a “full review” of the Russian hacks before Trump takes office, but Trump—who reportedly will nominate the ExxonMobil CEO who has Russian ties as secretary of state—has denied that Russia was involved in the cyberhacking at all.
In a statement released Friday night, Trump said of the U.S. intelligence findings: “These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.”
That line of reasoning continued Sunday during an interview with Chris Wallace of Fox News.
Trump on CIA allegations that Putin tried to help Trump: It's "just another excuse" for why Hillary lost. "I don't believe that at all"— igorvolsky (@igorvolsky) December 11, 2016
Trump said the Russia hacking story "could be" an effort by Democrats to undermine him because "they're very embarrassed."— igorvolsky (@igorvolsky) December 11, 2016
It’s no surprise that McCain, Graham, and Paul would take an interest in this issue. All have clashed with Trump in the past. But it will be more interesting to see whether the rest of the Congressional Republicans follow their lead in wanting to investigate how much the United States’ Cold War enemy affected the election that decided Trump will run this country for the next four years.
H/T The Hill