Sens. John McCain and Chuck Schumer on Monday reiterated their desire for Congress to investigate the intelligence community’s assessment that Russia tried to interfere with the U.S. election to favor president-elect Donald Trump.
The top senators appeared in a joint interview on “CBS This Morning” and McCain was asked if he believes Russia had the direct intent to help elect Mr. Trump.
“I can’t reach that conclusion yet, which is why we need a bipartisan effort to uncover the whole situation,” said McCain, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
The Arizona Republican added that there’s “no doubt about the hacking” since he said his 2008 presidential campaign was hacked.
“It’s all part of the larger issue of the cyber threat that we face from Russia, China and other countries. It’s another form of warfare,” he said. “It’s a threat to our national security.”
Schumer, the incoming minority leader, said he doesn’t want the investigation to become political like Benghazi.
“This is serious stuff -- when a foreign power tries to intervene to influence an election,” he said. “It’s gotten worse and a bipartisan investigation that’s not aimed at one specific instance but looks at the broad scope of this is just what’s needed.”
Asked about Mr.Trump’s remarks that he refuses to accept the intelligence community’s assessment, Schumer said he can’t speculate about the president-elect but issued a warning.
“No one should try to sweep any facts under the rug. We’ll see where the facts lead,” Schumer said. “To jump to conclusions or to say we don’t need an investigation is so wrong because the vital interests of our country are at stake.”
McCain was asked if he could say whether the Republican National Committee was hacked based on briefings he received.
“I don’t have that information,” he said.
Schumer wouldn’t say whether Mr. Trump will have an issue getting Rex Tillerson confirmed as secretary of state in the Senate if the president-elect nominates him.
“Look, the bottom line is every one of these nominees and particularly a guy like Tillerson needs a thorough, thorough hearing,” he said. “I can say this as the future minority leader, God willing, we’re not going to stand for a quick, you just ask your questions, say hello, and he leaves.”