Rep. Trent FranksHarold (Trent) Trent FranksArizona New Members 2019 Cook shifts 8 House races toward Dems Freedom Caucus members see openings in leadership MORE (R-Ariz.) on Thursday appeared to praise the publication of Democratic emails, believed to be stolen by Russian operatives, on WikiLeaks.

"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," Trent said on MSNBC.

“If Russia succeeded in giving the American people information that was accurate, then they merely did what the media should have done,” he added.

The intelligence community has described the hacks and subsequent release of stolen emails as an attempt by the Russian government to “interfere” in the U.S. election.

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Recent leaks from U.S. officials have indicated that the the IC believes the release of the emails was an explicit attempt to help GOP presidential nominee Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpConway defends herself against Hatch Act allegations amid threat of subpoena How to defuse Gulf tensions and avoid war with Iran Trump says 'stubborn child' Fed 'blew it' by not cutting rates MORE.

Franks characterized the intelligence leaks as an attempt by President Obama to “delegitimize” the election, echoing the sentiment of Trump.

The president-elect has continued to deny that Russia was involved in the attacks on the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe Hill's Morning Report - Crunch time arrives for 2020 Dems with debates on deck The Memo: All eyes on faltering Biden ahead of first debate Trump says he's not prepared to lose in 2020 MORE campaign chair John Podesta.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has denied that the Russian government gave the group the Democratic files.

Franks on Thursday did not deny Russian involvement, but downplayed the notion that it influenced the election.

“I’m all for doing what’s necessary to protect the election,” Franks said. “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.”