McCaskill calls out Putin over Russian hacking attempt on her staff

ST. LOUIS - “Putin is a thug and a bully.”

Strong words coming from Senator Claire McCaskill after reports that her campaign computers had been targeted by Russian hackers.

McCaskill, in one of the nation's most-watched Senate races this November, would appear to be the first senator up for re-election in 2018 to draw Russia's attention.

It's a revelation McCaskill is claiming she’d known about for months and did not want them released.

“This is not something we have done anything on, including put this story out,” the senator said. “This story was someone, referenced this happening and Microsoft official. I think Microsoft is the one who detected it.”

The Daily Beast reported Russian hackers attempted a number of password-stealing techniques on McCaskill’s staffers. However, the senator’s team caught it before they clicked ahead.

“They were not successful,” she said. “Russia continues to try to break the backbone of democracy all across the world.”

This latest attack on a US election comes after President Donald Trump and Russian leader Vladimir Putin met in Helsinki last week. Following that meeting, the president received heavy criticism from both Democrats and Republicans for not being stronger on Putin about Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election.

“It is outrageous they continue to get away with this,” she said. “We need to do more. They are conducting cyber warfare on our country.”

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, who is the front-runner for the Republican nomination to take McCaskill’s Senate seat, did not publicly comment on the hacking. However, his campaign released the following statement:

“Russia is a bad actor and we should not tolerate or ignore their attempts to disrupt either American commerce or democracy. Senator McCaskill is fortunate that her staffer did not click on the link and give away her personal information and passcodes. This is an important reminder that scam emails and malicious phishing can target anyone.”