Russian President Vladimir Putin is a bigger threat to world security than the Islamic State group, US senator John McCain has told the ABC.
The Republican also admitted in an exclusive interview with 7.30 that President Donald Trump sometimes made him “nervous”.
During a visit to Canberra, Senator McCain said Mr Putin was the “premier and most important threat, more so than ISIS”.
“I’ve seen no evidence they succeeded, but they tried and they are still trying to change elections.
“They just tried to affect the outcome of the French election. So I view Vladimir Putin — who has dismembered Ukraine, a sovereign nation, who is putting pressure on the Baltics — I view the Russians as the far greatest challenge that we have.”
He said the US needed to respond to Russia with sanctions.
“We have done nothing since the election last November to respond to Vladimir Putin’s attempt to change the outcome of our elections. So, way to go Vladimir. We haven’t responded at all,” he said.
“Hopefully when we get back from recess the Senate will enact sanctions on Russia.”