Russian hacking of US elections threatens to destroy 'democracy', says Senator John McCain

'This is the sign of a possible unraveling of the world order that was established after World War II'

Gabriel Samuels
Tuesday 20 December 2016 09:05
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John McCain says Russia trying to 'destroy democracy'

Russia’s involvement in hacking US systems during presidential election campaigns threatens to “destroy democracy” in its current form, according to former Republican candidate John McCain.

The senator for Arizona warned there may soon be an “unraveling of the world order” and criticised the “absolute failure of the American leadership” to improve relations with Moscow.

Last week, Mr McCain joined with three other senators in warning of the threat of Russia “targeting America’s democratic institutions”, and called for Democrats and Republicans to work together to counter the perceived threat.

"This is the sign of a possible unraveling of the world order that was established after World War II, which has made one of the most peaceful periods in the history of the world," Senator McCain told CNN.

"We're starting to see the strains and the unraveling of it, and that is because of the absolute failure of American leadership.

“This is serious business. If [Russia is] able to harm the electoral process, they may destroy democracy, which is based on free and fair elections.

“When America doesn’t lead, a lot of other bad people do.”

Mr McCain reiterated his call for a cross-party select committee to be established to deal with Russian hacking, while accusing the government under President Barack Obama of being “totally paralysed” in its response.

In early December, the CIA concluded that hackers backed by the Russian government targeted Democratic officials' email accounts with the specific aim of helping Donald Trump win in the November presidential election.

The President-elect’s transition team adamantly dismissed the findings, comparing them to investigations into Iraq’s non-existent weapons of mass destruction

President Barack Obama has ordered a "full review" into claims of election hacking. His homeland security adviser Lisa Monaco said: "We may have crossed into a new threshold." The president expects the full report before he leaves office on 20 January.

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