Russian President Vladimir Putin is “the premier and most important threat, more so than ISIS,” John McCain declared while overseas in Australia.
“I think ISIS can do terrible things, and I worry a lot about what is happening with the Muslim faith, and I worry about a whole lot of things about it,” McCain told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. in an interview today.
“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,” he said, referring to Russia’s hacking and meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
“So I view Vladimir Putin … I view the Russians as the far greatest challenge that we have,” said McCain.
When McCain, who serves as chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, was asked about reports that Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner sought to set up a secret back-channel communications with Russia about Syria and other policy matters, McCain said, “I don’t like it. I just don’t.”
“I know that some administration officials are saying, ‘Well, that’s standard procedure,’” he said. “I don’t think it is standard procedure prior to the inauguration of a president of the United States by someone who is not in an appointed position.”
— abc730 (@abc730) May 29, 2017
In an interview on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday, Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly said it would be “both normal … and acceptable” to have back-channel communications.