A longtime Republican congressman says that Russia’s leak of hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign during the U.S. presidential election was a public service.
“If Russia succeeded in giving the American people information that was accurate,” Arizona Rep. Trent Franks said Thursday afternoon on MSNBC, “then they merely did what the media should have done.”
Franks’ comments came shortly before the Obama administration announced sanctions against Moscow for interfering with the U.S. election.
“I’m all for doing what’s necessary to protect the election here,” Franks said. “But there’s no suggestion that Russia hacked into our voting systems or anything like that.”
In October, U.S. intelligence agencies concluded that Russian hacking of American “political organizations” like the Democratic National Committee was an attempt to undermine confidence in the U.S. electoral system. In a closed-door briefing on Capitol Hill earlier this month, the Central Intelligence Agency concluded that it was “quite clear” that electing Donald Trump was Russia’s goal.
Trump dismissed the assessment, calling it a “card” being played by the Democrats to undercut his stunning election victory.
“Can you imagine if the election results were the opposite and WE tried to play the Russia/CIA card,” Trump tweeted on Dec. 12. “It would be called conspiracy theory!”