U.S. Senator John McCain believes that Russian President Vladimir Putin poses a greater threat to global security than ISIS.
The Arizona Republican and former GOP presidential candidate spoke in Australia about the threat and said the Senate would seek to impose sanctions against Russia for its alleged interference in the U.S. election.
“I think he is the premier and most important threat, more so than ISIS,” McCain said of Putin during an interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation show “7:30″ on Monday.
“I think ISIS can do terrible things and I worry a lot about what is happening with the Muslim faith,” he said, but added, “it’s the Russians who tried to destroy the fundamental of democracy and that is to change the outcome of an American election.”
Although there has been no evidence to back up the claims that the Kremlin altered the election results, McCain, who is chairman of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, believes Russia was still trying to affect the outcome.
“I’ve seen no evidence they succeeded, but they tried and they are still trying to change elections,” he said. “They just tried to affect the outcome of the French election. So I view Vladimir Putin — who has dismembered Ukraine, a sovereign nation, who is putting pressure on the Baltics — I view the Russians as the far greatest challenge that we have.”
The senator called for a U.S. response to Russia’s actions, criticizing the lack of follow through by Washington.
“We have done nothing since the election last November to respond to Vladimir Putin’s attempt to change the outcome of our elections. So, way to go Vladimir. We haven’t responded at all,” he said.
“So we need to have increased sanctions and hopefully when we come back from our recess, the Senate will move forward with sanctions on Russia and enact other penalties for Russian behavior,” he added.
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