Tags: John McCain | mccain | address | cyber attacks

McCain: Time to 'Seriously Address' Cyberattacks

Fox News' "America's Newsroom"

By    |   Monday, 12 December 2016 02:10 PM

Sen. John McCain said cyber hackers have been attacking political campaigns for years, including his own presidential bid in 2008, and with the latest claims Russia interfered with the presidential election to benefit President-elect Donald Trump, it's time to "seriously address" the issue.

"It is something that has been going on for quite some period of time," the Arizona Republican and 2008 GOP presidential nominee told Fox News' "America's Newsroom" co-host Martha MacCallum.

"The question is, of course, what was the intention?" said McCain. "That's why we need an investigation, but more importantly than that, we need to finally seriously address this issue of cyber and the potential damage that it could do to our national security."

In McCain's case, the United States tracked hacking both into his campaign and that of then-Sen. Barack Obama to units backed by the People's Republic of China, according to a 2008 NBC News investigative report.

Since then, Obama's administration has "done nothing" to stem the problem, said McCain.

"We have no strategy, we have no policy concerning this whole issue of cyber warfare," said the senator, pointing out that the nation's military leaders have warned that the United States is at an disadvantage.

Meanwhile, McCain said he has seen "no evidence" in weekend reports claiming Russia intervened to benefit Trump over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, including hacking into and releasing emails from campaign chairman John Podesta's accounts.

"That is the reason why we need a full investigation," said McCain. "We should be deeply concerned about their ability to get into almost any place they want to go. If they do that with political campaigns, can't they do it in every other aspect of America, especially our military capabilities?"

The senator, who chairs the Armed Services Committee, also commented on the growing reports that Trump will nominate Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson as secretary of state because of the veteran oilman's relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"Putin is a thug, a murderer, a KGB guy, who only wants to restore the Russian empire," said McCain. "He has killed, murdered Boris Nemtsov, the leader of the opposition, in the shadow of the Kremlin. His equipment shot down an airliner. He dismembered Ukraine. Russian planes are pinpointing and bombing hospitals in Aleppo."

He does think Tillerson deserves a fair hearing and allow him to make his case that he will work for Trump, but at the same time, he is concerned because the CEO was the recipient of a "friendship award" from Russia.

McCain said he does believe Trump is assembling a strong team, with Tillerson, retired Gen. Michael Flynn, and retired Gen. James Mattis, but meanwhile, the United States has drastically reduced its defense spending.

"Pretty soon silence will descend over Aleppo," said McCain. "The only thing there will be around is dead bodies and carnage and destruction and all of that did not have to happen. It is one of the great tragedies of recent history is what is happening in Syria with 500,000 killed, six million refugees."

McCain said he believes the Middle East situation could be turned around, though, when Trump is inaugurated, much as matters changed when Ronald Reagan was sworn in and hostages returned from Iran.

The senator also said Monday he thinks Trump did the right thing when he accepted a phone call from the Taiwan president up on his win, going against the 'One China' diplomatic protocol.

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Sen. John McCain said cyber hackers have been attacking political campaigns for years, including his own presidential bid in 2008, and with the latest claims Russia interfered with the presidential election to benefit President-elect Donald Trump, it's time to ...
mccain, address, cyber attacks
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2016-10-12
Monday, 12 December 2016 02:10 PM
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