GOP lawmaker: Obama's Russian sanctions meant to 'delegitimize' Trump's election

GOP lawmaker: Obama's Russian sanctions meant to 'delegitimize' Trump's election
© Greg Nash
 
Franks, a member of the Armed Services Committee, accused Obama of refusing to punish Russia for numerous other transgressions over the years, including supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's bombings of civilians in Syria. Franks added that Obama moved American missiles to "placate Russia."
 
"Now he suddenly finds his tongue when he sees an opportunity to try to use Russia to, quote, 'delegitimize' the election of Donald Trump to be the president. I find that stunning," Franks said Friday on MSNBC. 

 
ADVERTISEMENT
Franks added that he "absolutely favor[s] the sanctions; I'm just suggesting they came too late and at the motivation that is completely hidden to the public." 
 
Franks's complaints echo those from Trump's camp. Transition officials have blasted the Obama administration's focus on the Russian hacks into Democratic organizations as an attack on the legitimacy of Trump's win.
 
While hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonUkrainian official denies Trump pressured president The Memo: 'Whistleblower' furor gains steam Missing piece to the Ukraine puzzle: State Department's overture to Rudy Giuliani MORE campaign chairman John Podesta may have had an impact on the election, there's no evidence to suggest that Russian hackers breached the vote tabulating process itself. 
 
Franks also blasted the media for its characterization of his comments Thursday, when he said, "If Russia succeeded in giving the American people information that was accurate, then they merely did what the media should have done."
 
On Friday, Franks bristled at the suggestion that he was condoning hacks into American systems by foreign actors. 
 
"Those comments were completely misconstrued," he said. 
 
"No one has been harder on Russia than me. I have been deeply committed to making sure their expansionism and their efforts did not result in the deaths of innocent people across the world."