Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) argued in a Thursday interview that the actors behind the hacks of Democratic organizations and operatives during the 2016 presidential race “merely did what the media should have done.”
Asked by MSNBC anchor Hallie Jackson whether he knew anything about impending sanctions on Russia for the role the U.S. intelligence committee says it played in the hacks, Franks said that to his knowledge, no relevant intelligence committees had been informed about the sanctions. He then appeared to question the U.S. intelligence community’s attribution of the hack to Russian actors.
“Most of what we’re talking about now is based on leaks,” Franks said, adding that there was no evidence that Russia hacked U.S. voting systems.
“If anything, whatever they might have done was to try to use information in a way that may have affected something that they believe was in their best interest,” Franks said.
“But the bottom line,” he continued, “if Russia succeeded in giving the American people information that was accurate, then they merely did what the media should have done.”
Shortly after the interview aired, the Obama administration announced sanctions against individuals and entities associated with Russian intelligence that it believes are involved with recent hacks related to the 2016 presidential election.
Watch the segment below: