December 12, 2016
‘The Stakes Are Too High’ John McCain Wants Further Investigation Into CIA Claims Russia Influenced Elections [Video]

Senator John McCain wants a committee to investigate CIA claims that Russia helped Trump into the White House, the Daily Mail is reporting. The Republican senator said it was dangerous to dismiss claims and was astonished that the president-elect was treating the matter lightly when the country's sovereignty was at stake.

"The facts are there. I don't know what to make of it because it's clear the Russians interfered. Whether they intended to interfere to the degree that they were trying to elect a certain candidate, I think that's' a subject of investigation. But facts are stubborn things. They did hack into this campaign."
According to The Guardian, Donald Trump dismissed the CIA conclusion in an interview with Fox News on Sunday, saying it was another excuse after his underdog victory against Hillary Clinton. The 70-year-old politician called the claims "ridiculous," adding that the American people got him into the White House and not the Kremlin.
"I don't believe it. I don't know why and I think it's just—you know, they talked about all sorts of things. Every week it's another excuse…Once they hack; if you don't catch them in the act you're not going to catch them. They have no idea if it's Russia or China or somebody. It could somebody sitting in a bed someplace."
The "blue collar billionaire" is also of the opinion that Democrats in cahoots with the CIA were the ones stoking the fire that the elections were rigged by Russia. Former ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton agreed with Mr. Trump to an extent, adding that "intelligence has been politicized in the Obama administration to a significant degree." Outgoing president Obama has instructed a full review of Russia and China's role in 2008 and 2012 run-offs to the elections.

In the clandestine assessment by intelligence agencies, a conclusion was reached that Moscow planned to influence the elections by hacking into the email accounts of the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman, John Podesta. The aim was to sabotage the credibility of the elections, with Trump touted as their preferred candidate. Previously, the CIA had said that the hacks were not meant to pick a particular candidate, but were meant to make a mockery of American politics and demoralize the public's confidence in the electoral system.

In a statement released Saturday, McCain and three other Republican senators asked Congress to examine the hacking situation thoroughly, adding that it should not be swept under the rug because it favored a particular political party for now.
"This cannot become a partisan issue. The stakes are too high for our country. We are committed to working in this bipartisan manner."
The disagreement between Republican and Democrats is also evident between the FBI and CIA. Many Republicans supported the FBI's stance saying that the CIA's claims were unfounded because it lacked tangible evidence. An official revealed that this problem stemmed basically in the way both intelligence operatives worked.
"The FBI briefers think in terms of criminal standards-'Can we prove this in court. The CIA briefers weigh the preponderance of intelligence and then make judgment calls to help policymakers make informed decisions. High confidence for them means, 'We're pretty damn sure.' It doesn't mean they can prove it in court."
Former CIA operative Robert Baer has revealed that the agency provided proof of the Kremlin's involvement. The 21-year veteran called for the CIA to release proof of Moscow's meddling before the Electoral College votes on December 19. Baer said Moscow had good reason to undermine Clinton's bid for presidency because she had declared that she would strengthen ties with Ukraine and defend her "in the face of Russian aggression."
Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway called the CIA revelations "unfounded" and meant to rattle the peaceful transition of power. Conway, appearing on CBS's Face the Nation, said it was time for Democrats to accept that they had lost the elections and move on.

[Featured Image by Susan Walsh/AP Images]