Republican Rep. Trent Franks of Arizona offered a defense on Dec. 29 for Russia's purported illegal hacking during the U.S. election (video below).
Franks told MSNBC anchor Hallie Jackson that Russia's hacking was likely done in the best interests of Russia and was simply what the media should have done:
Most of what we're talking about now is based on leaks. And I'm all for doing what is necessary to protect the election here. But there's no suggestion that Russia hacked into our voting systems or anything like that.
If anything, whatever they might have done was to try to use information in a way that may have affected something that they believed was in their best interests. But the bottom line, if Russia succeeded in giving the American people information that was accurate, then they merely did what the media should have done.
Franks sits on the House Judiciary Committee, which is supposed to support U.S. law.
In response to Franks' statement, ThinkProgress reporter Ian Millhiser asked the congressman to give up his personal email password on Twitter: "I am a member of the media. Given your view on transparency, can I have the password to your personal email account?"
President Barack Obama announced sanctions against two Russian intelligence agencies and ordered 35 suspected Russian spies to leave the U.S. on Dec. 28 over the hacking, notes Reuters:
These actions follow repeated private and public warnings that we have issued to the Russian government, and are a necessary and appropriate response to efforts to harm U.S. interests in violation of established international norms of behavior. All Americans should be alarmed by Russia’s actions.
President-elect Donald Trump said the U.S. should move on: "It's time for our country to move on to bigger and better things. Nevertheless, in the interest of our country and its great people, I will meet with leaders of the intelligence community next week in order to be updated on the facts of this situation."