Republican Sen. Bob Corker has a beef with his colleague Sen. John McCain over the latter's use of the term "act of war" in the context of the alleged Russian hacking of the U.S. presidential election.
McCain made his remark last week, but Corker said Friday hacking between countries is "commonplace" and Russia's alleged actions, about which President-elect Donald Trump discussed with intelligence leaders Friday, are not as serious as McCain made them out to be.
"If you have two countries that are doing the same thing to each other, collecting information, how can one country accuse the other country of an act of war if you're doing exactly the same thing?" the Tennessee lawmaker said Friday morning, reports the Washington Examiner.
He added that cyberattacks "have become commonplace, if you will, in the intelligence community" around the world.
"So when you put in place sanctions, you've got to make sure you're sanctioning a country for doing something that you yourself are not doing. That's pretty important."
Corker's comments were in response to both the sanctions President Barack Obama placed on Russia — which included expelling 35 Russian "intelligence operatives" from the U.S. — and McCain's strong response.
"When you attack a country, it's an act of war," McCain said last week. "And so we have to make sure that there is a price to pay, so that we can perhaps persuade the Russians to stop these kind of attacks on our very fundamentals of democracy."
U.S. intelligence agencies said they have proof the Russians were behind computer hacks that were intended to influence the election result. Trump has been skeptical up to this point, but he was presented with evidence by intelligence chiefs Friday at Trump Tower, two weeks before he is sworn in as president.
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