Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell condemned the cyber attacks aimed at undermining the United States presidential election by operatives working on behalf of the Russian government.
In a Capitol Hill press conference Monday morning, McConnell said, “the Russians are not our friends” and said the Senate will proceed accordingly with potential investigations into the scope of the cyber attacks.
McConnell, clad in blue jeans as he wrapped up the Senate's business for the 114th Congress, said the investigations will be reviewed “through the regular order,” utilizing the Senate's Intelligence and Armed Services committees.
“Obviously any foreign breach of our cyber security measures is disturbing and I strongly condemn any such efforts,” McConnell said before telling reporters that the committees are “more than capable of conducting a complete review” of the hacks.
McConnell placed blame on President Barack Obama, who “attempted to reset relations with Russia and sat back while Russia expanded its sphere of influence, intervened in Crimea, eastern Ukraine, Syria, and attempted to bully the Baltic countries.”
However, McConnell cautioned that his fellow Republicans would be unwise to not push for a review of Russian interference:
“It defies belief that somehow, Republicans in the Senate are reluctant to either review Russian tactics or ignore them.”
McConnell's blessing on the proposed investigations into Russian involvement in the cyber attacks that plagued Democrats during the 2016 election cycle comes after a bipartisan group of senators called for inquiries, which will be spearheaded by the chamber's Armed Services Committee.