Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, McCain confirmed that lawmakers were looking for new ways to push forward with new sanctions against Russia after a key Senate bill on Russia's alleged meddling in Ukraine, Syria and the US presidential elections was put on hold.
"We'll be looking at other options including [in] the Senate Armed Services Committee," McCain said, adding that "others will be looking hard at other options."
"It's been six months since Russia attacked the fundamentals of our democracy by interfering in the 2016 election. Since then, Russia has received a slap on the wrist from the Obama administration, but Congress has taken no action," McCain and Graham complained in a joint statement released Tuesday.
US officials, lawmakers and mainstream media have yet to provide any substantive evidence of Russian interference in the US election process.
Speaking to Radio Sputnik about this never-ending back and forth sanctions talk, Russian political Alexei Martynov said that to him, it all looks like some kind of game. "All of this is a media-based game of good cop bad cop, doves and hawks. As for McCain, he is approaching age eighty – it's too late for him to admit mistakes or somehow change his point of view."
Furthermore, Martynov noted that amid what must be assumed to be intense preparations for the first face-to-face meeting between Putin and Trump, to take place in Hamburg, Germany in July, the Senate and individual senators including McCain are also trying to have some impact on formulating the agenda.
Ultimately, the analyst stressed that everyone, McCain included, probably understands just how futile the anti-Russian sanctions really; nevertheless, they will continue to press the issue for political reasons.
"They themselves acknowledge, although perhaps not as publically as their counterparts in Germany or France, that the sanctions policy is not leading to the results that they said they would. It's obvious that sanctions are senseless – that they do not work, and everyone admits it. But they sound menacing –that's the real reason why this discussion is continuing."