‘PUTIN A BIG­GER THREAT THAN I.S.’

The Rus­sians are try­ing to de­stroy democ­racy, says US se­na­tor

New Straits Times - - World -

vices Com­mit­tee, told the Aus­tralian Broad­cast­ing Cor­po­ra­tion on Mon­day.

“I think IS can do ter­ri­ble things... but it is the Rus­sians who are try­ing, who tried to de­stroy the very fun­da­men­tal of democ­racy and that is to change the out­come of an Amer­i­can elec­tion.

“I have seen no ev­i­dence they suc­ceeded, but they tried and they are still try­ing. They just tried to af­fect the out­come of the French elec­tion.

“So, I view Vladimir Putin, who has dis­mem­bered the Ukraine, a sovereign na­tion, who is putting pres­sure on the Baltics, I view the Rus­sians as the far great­est chal­lenge that we have.”

McCain’s com­ments come with the Trump team em­broiled in con­tro­versy over its re­la­tion­ship with Moscow, which US in­telli- gence agen­cies say tried to sway last Novem­ber’s elec­tion in the prop­erty ty­coon’s favour.

Over the week­end, the furore pierced the in­ner­most cir­cle of the White House with re­ports that Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kush­ner sought a se­cret com­mu­ni­ca­tions link to Rus­sia — an al­le­ga­tion the pres­i­dent called “fab­ri­cated”.

When put to him by the ABC that some peo­ple feel ner­vous about in­ter­na­tional se­cu­rity with Trump as pres­i­dent, McCain said he un­der­stood why.

“I am ner­vous from time to time. I be­lieve that the pres­i­dent has great con­fi­dence in the national se­cu­rity team. I be­lieve most of the time that he ac­cepts their ad­vice and coun­sel.

“Can I tell you that he does (that) all the time? No. Does it bother me? Yes.”

John McCain

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