Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.). (AP)
Commenting on allegations that the Russian government hacked into computers used by the Democratic National Committee and Clinton Campaign Chairman John Podesta and leaked the contents to the public prior to the Nov. 8 election, House Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) said, if this is true, then Russia "merely did what the media should have done" -- reported accurate information to the American people.
On Thursday's MSNBC Live with host Hallie Jackson, Rep. Franks said he was "all for doing what’s necessary to protect the election. But there’s no suggestion that Russia hacked into our voting systems."
"They, if anything, whatever they might have done was to try to use information in a way that might have affected something that they believed was in their best interests," said the congressman.
“If Russia succeeded in giving the American people information that was accurate, then they merely did what the media should have done,” said Franks.
President Obama sanctioned several Russian intelligence officials on Thursday and expelled 35 of them from the United States. They have to leave by Dec. 31. He also ordered the closing of two Russian compounds in Maryland and New York. He took the action because of the reported computer hacking by Russia and the alleged harassment of U.S. personnel in Russia.
"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," said Obama in a statement.
"These actions are not the sum total of our response to Russia’s aggressive activities," said Obama. "We will continue to take a variety of actions at a time and place of our choosing, some of which will not be publicized."