Arguing that “the Russians are not our friends,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Monday the Senate will investigate concerns that Russian hackers interfered with the 2016 elections.
Mitch McConnell: “The Russians are not our friends.” “we need to approach all these on the assumption the Russians do not wish us well.”
— Katy Tur (@KatyTurNBC) December 12, 2016
“Obviously any foreign breach of our cybersecurity measures is disturbing, and I strongly condemn any such efforts,” McConnell said.
“I think we ought to approach all of these issues on the assumption the Russians do not wish us well,” he added.
Stressing that foreign interference in U.S. elections “simply cannot be a partisan issue,” McConnell said that he would support Sen. John McCain’s, R-Ariz., call for a select committee to investigate claims that individuals working with or for the Russian government hacked into the records of the Democratic National Committee as well as the Republican National Committee.
Unlike President-elect Donald Trump, who has viewed claims of Russian hacking with a jaundiced eye, McConnell praised the efforts of the American intelligence community, saying he had “the highest confidence in the intelligence community, and especially the Central Intelligence Agency.”
He also said the Senate Intelligence Committee is “more than capable of conducting a complete review of this matter.”
In the wake of allegations that the Russian government sought to tilt the election in favor of Trump, McConnell said there can be no room for partisanship in the investigation of Russia’s actions.
“We’re going to follow the regular order. It’s an important subject and we intend to review it on a bipartisan basis,” he said.
McConnell said that the Senate Armed Services Committee, which is headed by McCain, will investigate cybersecurity threats to the nation.
McCain said Monday he had no doubts Russians hacked into DNC accounts, and called it “another form of warfare.”
He said a Senate investigation was necessary to get to the truth.
Incoming Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., also supported an investigation and said it must not be politicized.
“We don’t want to point a finger, and I don’t want this to turn into the Benghazi investigation,” Schumer said. “This is serious stuff.”
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