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Sen. John McCain on reported cyber hacking: ‘It’s clear the Russians interfered’

Led by Arizona Sen. John McCain, Republicans on the Senate Armed Services Committee are joining with Democrats in calling for an examination of reports that Russia interfered in the presidential election.

McCain, who is the chairman of the committee, incoming Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and others said in a joint statement Sunday that the CIA’s report of Russia’s efforts in the election “should alarm every American.”

“It’s clear the Russians interfered,” McCain said Sunday morning on Face the Nation. “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.

“Facts are stubborn things. They did hack into this campaign and they did it, I think, with, at least, with some effective of every week or so there was new information.”

McCain called Russian leader Vladimir Putin a “thug, murderer and a killer,” and added that Russia and China view cyber as a “form of warfare.”

In the statement released by the Armed Services committee, Russia was the only country mentioned.

President Barack Obama ordered a full review of campaign-season cyberattacks to be completed before he leaves office. President-elect Donald Trump has dismissed the CIA’s assessment that Russia powered his defeat of Democrat Hillary Clinton.

“You can’t make this issue partisan,” McCain said Sunday. “It’s too important. A fundamental of a democracy is a free and fair election. I am confident we can address this in a bipartisan fashion.”

On Face the Nation, McCain also said that Trump’s expected nomination of Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson as the Secretary of State is concerning.

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