Sen. John McCain: Obama has ‘no strategy and no policy’ for cyber attacks

Dec 18, 2016, 11:41 AM | Updated: Dec 19, 2016, 11:14 am

PHOENIX — Arizona Sen. John McCain appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union” with Jake Tapper to discuss various issues such as China, Russia and President-elect Donald Trump’s relationship with Vladimir Putin.

The following is some of what McCain had to say in the interview.

Is there a strategy behind Trump’s tweet regarding the Chinese holding a drone?

“I don’t know. I know that the Chinese are able to do a thing called reverse-engineering where they’re able to find out all of the technical information and some of it is pretty valuable, but the fundamental here is that the Chinese have taken an American vehicle in international waters in a gross violation of international law. Maybe they saw the success that the Iranians had after they captured two American vessels and put American sailors on their knees and then when they were returned the Secretary of State thanked them. There’s no strength on the part of the United States of America. Everybody’s taking advantage of it. Hopefully, that will change soon, but it’s almost unheard of for American vehicles and ships in international waters being taken by another Iranian or, in this case, Chinese ship in gross violation of international law. They’re flaunting it.”

What do you think of the president’s response (to the Russia hack) and how do you think the U.S. needs to respond going forward?

“The president’s response was sort of an acknowledgment and an endorsement of what they’ve already done. The president has no strategy and no policy as to what to do about these various cyber attacks that have possibly disrupted an American election. We need a select committee. We need to get to the bottom of this. We need to find out exactly what was done and what the implications of the attacks were, especially if they had an effect on our election. There’s no doubt they were interfering, no doubt it was a cyber attack, (the) question now is how much and what damage and what should the United States of America do and so far we’ve been totally paralyzed. I’m sure when Vladimir Putin was told ‘cut it out’ I’m sure that Vladimir Putin immediately stopped all cyber activity. The fact is they are hacking every single day.”

Did you raise your concerns about Russia to Trump?

“No, because it was a brief conversation and he mentioned that General Mattis was going to be his nominee. There was not a conversation. What’s happening here, when we see the seizure of these ships, when we see the cyber attacks, when we see the dismemberment of Syria, when we see the tragedies that are taking place there, which are heartbreaking, while we sat by and watched all this happen. This is the sign of a possible unraveling of the world order that was established after World War II, which is made one of the most peaceful periods in the history of the world.”

Have you ever heard Trump criticize Putin?

“No, I have not heard him criticize Putin. I think reality is going to intercede at one point or another just because of the Russian activities and I hope that with people like General Mattis and some other people around him that he will very quickly understand what the Russians are all about and that is they are ahead of us in many respects in this whole issue of cyber warfare.”

What do you make of Hillary Clinton’s argument about the cyber attacks?

“I see no evidence that the voting machines were tampered with. I see no evidence that the election would have been different, but that doesn’t change the fact that the Russians and others, the Chinese to a lesser degree, have been able to interfere with our electoral process.”

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Sen. John McCain: Obama has ‘no strategy and no policy’ for cyber attacks