Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) released the following statement today on Russia’s disinformation campaign:
“Recent news reports have underscored the vast extent of Russian disinformation campaigns aimed at dividing Americans and influencing the 2016 presidential election. Among the thousands of online advertisements reportedly purchased by Russian entities over the last year is a photo falsely suggesting I met with the leaders of ISIS, which has no basis in truth and has been debunked by every major fact-checker. Other advertisements purchased by the Russians during the 2016 election sought to fuel racial divisions, stoke fear of immigrants and refugees, and undermine support for U.S. foreign policy.
“These Kremlin-backed advertisements are just one element of Vladimir Putin’s long-term goal of undermining democracies around the world. Putin’s Russia has no meaningful allies, so it seeks to sow dissent among us and divide us from each other. Putin knows that his power and influence is inferior to ours, so he seeks to subvert us, erode our will to resist, and terrorize us into passivity. Putin knows he has little to offer the world beyond selfishness and fear, so he seeks to undermine our confidence in ourselves and our belief in our own values.
“We know that Putin’s Russia has not slowed its efforts to interfere in our elections and domestic affairs. The Senate Armed Services Committee will continue working to address this challenge, which is a threat to our national security.”