A Republican congressman from New York was unfazed by reports that Russian-backed hackers sought to influence the election outcome and argued that emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee, Hillary Clinton campaign chair John Podesta and others were useful to voters because they revealed Democrats’ “lies and deceit.”
In an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Friday, Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY), an early Donald Trump-backer, argued that, even if Russian-backed agents hacked into and leaked emails from Democratic groups and operatives, “the truth” came out for voters.
Collins said that there are “people who are lying and are deceitful,” and that “the e-mails then point out the truth.”
“What you’re hearing now is the Democrats, to the extent this did happen, it’s the truth that came out that may have had an impact on this election, instead of the lies and deceit,” Collins said. “So if the truth had an impact, then so be it. I don’t think anyone should complain that the truth did come out. And let’s stipulate that Russia did cyber hacking. Again, all countries are doing it. We don’t like it, we can never condone it. But I would suggest lies and deceit have no part in our election either.”
Later in the exchange, Collins emphasized his point that the leaked emails may have hurt Democrats, but they should not be used to de-legitimize the incoming Trump administration.
“I’m suggesting, let’s all get united behind Donald Trump and let’s move this country forward, and not continue finger pointing, suggesting somehow this election was rigged, when at worst it was the truth that came out that had an impact on the election,” he said.