MELBOURNE (Reuters) – U.S. Senator John McCain said Russian President Vladimir Putin is often a bigger threat to global security than ISIS, and warned that this Senate would push for sanctions against Moscow because of its alleged interference inside U.S. election.

McCain, a major foreign policy voice inside the U.S. Congress, was speaking in the interview australia wide, where he has held security talks on his way to a defense summit in Singapore.

"I do believe he (Putin) is definitely the premier and a lot important threat, more so than ISIS," McCain said within the interview on Australian Broadcasting Corp television.

He said while there was no evidence the Russians succeeded in changing the U.S. election outcome, we were holding still attempting to change elections, including the recent French vote.

"I view the Russians since the far greatest challenge that we have," said McCain, that’s chairman with the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee.

"Therefore we really need increased sanctions and hopefully if we go back from my recess, the Senate will proceed with sanctions on Russia and enact other penalties for Russian behavior."

McCain, who may have been a critic of President Donald Trump, said he believes the nation’s security team around Trump is having a strategy that should bring on "victory" in Afghanistan, and Trump has great confidence in that team.

"I do think that a lot of of times that he accepts their advice and counsel. Should i tell you just how performing regularly? No. Company, would it bothers me? Yes, it bothers me," he said.