Journalists and senators alike concluded Sunday that Russia interfered with the American election and that this is an act of war.
The Washington Post reported Friday that a Central Intelligence Agency assessment concluded that Russian-aligned hackers worked to get Donald Trump elected. The New York Times corroborated this report on Saturday.
Senate Armed Services Committee chairman John McCain and Democratic Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, had similar reactions on Sunday news shows to these reports.
“This should be not only about protecting us going forward but this is a form of warfare for Vladimir Putin, who is a thug and a bully and has the friends around the globe that we don’t want to be friends with,” Sen. McCaskill said on ABC.
Sen. McCain also called Russian Prime Minister Putin a “thug.” He added that Russia and China “view cyber as a form of warfare.” The Arizona Republican said during the CBS interview that the Obama administration “doesn’t have a strategy or policy in this whole issue of cyberwarfare.”
Sen. McCaskill called for Russia to be “held accountable,” but was vague about how that would be done.
“Some of that’s classified, I believe. And I don’t think that’s something that we can discuss on TV. But I’ve had briefings just this last week that indicate that this is a very serious issue for the American people to understand. And for Donald Trump to dismiss out of hand the intelligence community’s fact gathering is, frankly — doesn’t bode well for him protecting our country,” the Missouri senator said.
President-elect Donald Trump has dismissed the reports of Russian interference and called them “ridiculous” on “Fox News Sunday.” “I think it’s just another excuse. I don’t believe it,” Trump said.
Journalists also weighed in on the claim Russia worked to sway the election.
Time Magazine deputy editor Michael Duffy said on CBS, “it means that Russia attacked the United States.” Louise Mensch, who heads News Corp’s HeatStreet, said on Twitter that this calls for war against Russia. “I want precision bombing raids. Bank hacks. Massive cyber war. Russia is a paper bear cub let [President Obama] show Putin what alpha means,” Mensch wrote. She later added, “we will fuck Putin til [sic] he bleeds.”