Key U.S. senators visiting eastern European allies have called for sanctions against Russia for interfering in the presidential election.
Senator Lindsey Graham said the U.S. Congress in 2017 will investigate Russia’s involvement in the November 8 election that propelled businessman Donald Trump to power.
“I expect there will be bipartisan sanctions coming that will hit Russia hard, particularly (President Vladimir) Putin as an individual,” Graham said, without elaborating. “It is now time for Russia to understand enough is enough,” Graham said.
Senator Graham made his comments in Riga, Latvia as part of a wider tour of Russia’s Baltic neighbors. Fellow Republican Senator John McCain also is on the trip, as is Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar.
“We have to sanction Russia for these cyberattacks (and) send a clear message to the incoming administration that there is a lot of bipartisan support in Congress for going after this,” Klobuchar, told The Associated Press.
Trump has consistently maintained that last month’s election was free of any Russian meddling. Questions are still unanswered about how Russian hackers obtained emails from Clinton’s campaign and published them via WikiLeaks in the closing stretch of the campaign, in an apparent attempt to influence the election in Trump’s favor.
Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein, vice chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, told VOA, “It’s pretty clear that Russia was involved in this past election and collected data from both sides, but released data for one side only in an effort to skew the election.” President Barack Obama has ordered the intelligence community to conduct a full review of the allegations.
VOA’s Russian Service contributed to this report; Some information came from AP