Sunday, 11 December 2016

Politico: Democratic, GOP senators: Russian hacking 'cannot become a partisan issue'

Politico: Democratic, GOP senators: Russian hacking 'cannot become a partisan issue'

Four high-profile Democratic and Republican senators said Sunday that Russian interference in the election "should alarm every American" and that Congress must investigate further without allowing it to become a partisan issue.

"Democrats and Republicans must work together, and across the jurisdictional lines of the Congress, to examine these recent incidents thoroughly and devise comprehensive solutions to deter and defend against further cyber-attacks," incoming Democratic leader Chuck Schumer (N.Y.), Armed Services Committee Chairman and Ranking Member John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Jack Reed (D-R.I.) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said in a joint statement.

"This cannot become a partisan issue," they added. "The stakes are too high for our country. We are committed to working in this bipartisan manner, and we will seek to unify our colleagues around the goal of investigating and stopping the grave threats that cyberattacks conducted by foreign governments pose to our national security.”

The statement will put more pressure on congressional Republicans to investigate Russian interference and potentially clash with their incoming GOP president, Donald Trump, who has dismissed the issue. Schumer separately had called for a congressional probe into Russia's influence in the elections earlier Saturday, saying Democrats would continue to press for one when the new Congress convenes next year.

The heightened focus on Russia could also complicate the outlook for Trump's likely pick for secretary of state, ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, who maintains close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin. McCain has already said Tillerson's relationship with the Russian leader is a "matter of concern."

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