Senator John McCain: Russians Know that Vladimir Putin's Victory in the Election is a Fraud

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) on Sunday blasted Russian President Vladimir Putin's reelection as "a sham."

"That #Putin had to work so hard to drive voter turnout shows the Russian people know his claim to power is a sham," McCain tweeted shortly after exit polls showed Putin won a fourth term.

"The US stands with all Russians yearning for freedom," he added.

A Russian state exit poll gave Putin nearly 74 percent of the vote, well ahead of his closest competitor. With Sunday's result, Putin, 65, will serve another six-year term as president.

The Associated Press reported widespread allegations of ballot-box stuffing and forced voting in Russia during the election.

McCain, who is away from Washington battling cancer, has been a staunch critic of Russia and Putin. Earlier this year, he praised protesters who took to the streets to organize a boycott of the country's election.

He has also urged the Trump administration to impose sanctions on Russia in response to its meddling in the 2016 election that were overwhelmingly approved by Congress. The Trump administration has thus far not implemented those sanctions, saying the threat of sanctions is enough of a deterrent. But the administration did unveil separate new sanctions against Russia this month in response to cyberattacks.

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