McCain schedules hearing on foreign cyber threats to US

McCain schedules hearing on foreign cyber threats to US
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Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump steps up attacks on McCain Trump: 'I was never a fan of John McCain and I never will be' Santorum: Trump should 'send emails to a therapist' instead of tweeting MORE (R-Ariz.) has scheduled a hearing for Thursday on cyber threats to the United States.

The Senate Armed Services Committee chairman has been an outspoken critic of Russia, whom U.S. officials have said is responsible for the hack and release of documents from Democratic groups, including the Democratic National Committee, leading up to the election.

According to CNN, McCain's hearing next week will address Russia's alleged hacking campaign during the election.

The hearing will come a week after the Obama administration announced new sanctions on Russia in response to the election interference.

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Witnesses invited to the hearing include Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Marcel Lettre and Adm. Michael Rogers, head of U.S. Cyber Command and director of the National Security Agency.

The Senate Armed Services Committee indicated there is also a possibility of a closed session following the hearing Jan. 5, allowing lawmakers to receive an update on sensitive information.

The announcement comes in the wake of a new intelligence report, released Thursday, that summarized Moscow's hacking effort of multiple Democratic Party officials for the purposes of interfering in the election.

The administration announced retaliatory measures in response to the Kremlin's hacking campaign, including new sanctions against top Russian officials and expulsion of 35 Russian "operatives" from the U.S.

McCain has criticized the Obama administration's handling of Russia, calling for a tougher approach in the future.

"You can do a number of things," McCain told Fox News on Wednesday, including intensifying sanctions agains Russia, increasing U.S. military assets in the Baltic countries and giving "defensive weapons to Ukraine so that they can defend themselves."

“[Vladimir Putin] understands strength, and that’s all that he understands,” McCain added.

- This story was updated at 12:52 p.m.