Republican Representative Michael McCaul said Wednesday that if Russia is not punished for its actions in the 2016 presidential elections, it will continue to interfere in other U.S. elections, The Hill reports.
“I think Russia needs to be held accountable and there need to be consequences to this. If there are no consequences, there’s no doubt in my mind that Russia will continue to try to meddle in our elections whether it be 2018 or the next presidential election”, McCaul, who is also the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, stated.
McCaul’s comments come following reports that top administration officials as National Security Agency (NSA) Director Mike Rogers, have expressed frustration that President Donald Trump did not attend to their warnings about the findings by U.S. intelligence indicating that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election.
Punishment for Russian election interference has been a subject of debate in recent weeks, as lawmakers debate tougher sanctions on the country. The Obama administration ordered new sanctions in late December in retaliation for Russia’s meddling in the 2016 elections.
The Washington Post reported last month that the Trump administration is moving to restore Russia access to two diplomatic compounds in Maryland in New York that officials were forced to leave as part of the Obama administration sanctions.