Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) on Thursday said he cannot defend President-elect Donald TrumpDonald TrumpTrump takes shot at new GOP candidate in Ohio over Cleveland nickname GOP political operatives indicted over illegal campaign contribution from Russian national in 2016 On The Money — Dems dare GOP to vote for shutdown, default MORE's distrust of intelligence agencies when it comes to Russia's alleged interference in the U.S. presidential election.
When pressed by CNN's Jake Tapper to comment on Trump's refusal to fully embrace the findings of the intelligence community, Kinzinger said he cannot defend the president-elect's position.
"Yeah, I can't defend that, and I am not going to," said Kinzinger. "I think to disparage the intel-gathering mechanisms that we have here is not the right answer."
"I hope when he is actually sworn in as president, you know, now the weight of the world has fallen onto him and he realizes that ... for the last eight years America has given up its role in a lot of areas to Russia. We need to claw that back, so I hope that changes on Inauguration Day," he said.
When The Washington Post reported earlier this month that Russian hacking was aimed at helping Trump win the presidency, his team was dismissive, writing in a statement, "These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction."
Trump has also declined daily presidential briefings, reportedly accepting only one a week.
The Obama administration on Thursday announced new measures against Russia in response to Moscow's hacking effort aimed at interfering in the 2016 election.
The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security on Thursday also released a detailed report that explains the link between the Russian government and the hacking campaign carried out against multiple Democratic Party officials and organizations.
Trump said after the announcements that he will meet with intelligence officials about the matter.
Kinzinger said that the new sanctions are a "a good start," but he added that the U.S. needs to be even tougher on Russia in the future.
"This is an important first step to saying to the Russians that we are not one of your former satellite states," the lawmaker said.
"We are the United States of America, and you will not mess around with our election system. ... So it's an important step to push back, and I am looking for more, frankly," Kinzinger added.