House Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.).
Commenting on the Obama administration's decision not to veto a United Nations resolution condemning Israel for its "settlements" in East Jerusalem, House Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) said it was an "act of overt political cowardice" that will "send Barack Obama's name down the corridor of history as an overt traitor to the state of Israel."
Representative Franks also said Preident Obama's critcism of Russia for allegedly interfering with the U.S. presidential election was hypocritical given that the Obama administration was involved in the Israeli elections in March to try to stop the reelection of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Franks added that this week's action against Russia was designed to "deligitimze" Donald Trump's victory, "that's the main moticavtion here."
On Thursday's MSNBC Live hosted by Haille Jackson, Rep. Franks said, "But you'll have to forgive me for wondering why this president [Obama] would complain that anybody was involved in some foreign elections. This is the president that sent his own campaign team to Israel to defeat Benjamin Netanyahu in his election."
"And then, he's followed up with that hostility to [Israel] with this recent resolution in the U.N. that, I've got to tell you, was an act of overt political cowardice and it disgraced America and it will send Barack Obama's name down the corridor of history as an overt traitor to the state of Israel."
When asked if the United States should not take action against Russia, Franks said, "No, I've said on this program many times that I believe that Mr. Putin is a KGB thug, and that any interference in our elections or anything that is outside the interest of America should be met with an appropriate response. And I believe that with all of my heart. But I just see the incredible hypocrisy in this attack."
"And I'll also say this," said Franks. "This administration somehow has the notion that this would change the election. They're really trying to delegitimize the election itself. That's the main motivation here."
"And I think it's just unfortunate that this president forgets that most of these e-mails came from WikiLeaks, who claimed they got them from disgruntled DNC staffers," said the congressman.
As for Russia's involvement, Franks said, "I think that the bottom line is that no one knows for sure, and I think that we should at least get the facts before we start just going off of leaks that are occurring. Because I think this administration has a political ...."
President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (AP)
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.
Russian President Vladimir Putin essentially laughed off Obama's actions. In a statement released on Friday, Putin said, "As it proceeds from international practice, Russia has reasons to respond in kind. Although we have the right to retaliate, we will not resort to irresponsible ‘kitchen’ diplomacy but will plan our further steps to restore Russian-US relations based on the policies of the Trump Administration.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Barack Obama. (AP)
"The diplomats who are returning to Russia will spend the New Year’s holidays with their families and friends. We will not create any problems for US diplomats. We will not expel anyone. We will not prevent their families and children from using their traditional leisure sites during the New Year’s holidays.
"Moreover, I invite all children of US diplomats accredited in Russia to the New Year and Christmas children’s parties in the Kremlin.
"It is regrettable that the Obama Administration is ending its term in this manner. Nevertheless, I offer my New Year greetings to President Obama and his family. My season’s greetings also to President-elect Donald Trump and the American people."