Bolton Supports Bipartisan Probe Into Russian Influence on Election
National Security Advisor John Bolton in 2016. (Photo: Jacob Kornbluh)
Ambassador John Bolton, a contender for the secretary of state post and a possible pick for number 2 at the State Department, added his voice to a bipartisan effort for an examination of reports that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election.
“That is certainly something I support,” Bolton told reporters at an unrelated press conference in Manhattan on Sunday about Senator John McCain and Chuck Schumer’s joint statement Sunday that the CIA’s report on Russia’s efforts to influence the outcome of the election “should alarm every American.”
“This cannot become a partisan issue. The stakes are too high for our country,” the statement, signed by Senators McCain, Schumer, Lindsey Graham and Jack Reed, read. “We are committed to working in this bipartisan manner, and we will seek to unify our colleagues around the goal of investigating and stopping the grave threats that cyberattacks conducted by foreign governments pose to our national security.”
Bolton stated, “I don’t think we know all the facts here. Much of the conclusions that we have heard reported are dependent on very sensitive intelligence and evaluated in the intelligence community. None of us in the public domain have had any access to it. So, without a confident basis in fact that has been explained to the public, it is hard to know exactly hat happened. But I would say this: If any foreign government tries to influence American elections or distort the political process, it is an assault on the Constitution, and it is utterly unacceptable… It is unacceptable for foreign governments to try and distort the American election process.”
If the reports are proven true, Bolton said, the U.S. should take “very significant action” against those governments. without mentioning Russia by name.
President-elect Donald Trump said on Sunday that the CIA’s conclusion that Russia interfered in the presidential election is “ridiculous” and any review of outside cyberattacks “should not just say `Russia.’ You should say other countries also, and maybe other individuals.”