A Republican lawmaker blasted President Barack Obama's Russian sanctions Friday, saying the move was an attempt to "delegitimize" the results of the presidential election.
Rep. Trent Franks of Arizona told MSNBC President-elect Donald Trump was the real target of the sanctions, which booted 35 Russian intelligence operatives out of the U.S. and shut down Russian intelligence complexes in New York and Maryland.
"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," said Franks, a member of the House Committee on Armed Services.
"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."
CNS News posted video of Franks' comments.
Franks noted that the Obama administration was accused of trying to help Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lose reelection, an effort that came up short when Netanyahu won in May 2015.
"This is the president that sent his own campaign team to Israel to defeat Benjamin Netanyahu in his election," Franks said.
"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."
The Trump team, meanwhile, hinted that Obama's Russian sanctions are a parting shot directed at the incoming administration after a contentious election season.
"I will tell you that even those who are sympathetic to President Obama on most issues are saying that part of the reason he did this today was to quote 'box in' President-elect Trump," Kellyanne Conway, who will serve as Trump's counselor to the president, told CNN Thursday.
"That would be very unfortunate if politics were the motivating factor here. We can't help but think that's often true."
Obama's sanctions came in response to allegations of Russian interference in the U.S. election via computer hacks and the spreading of fake news stories.
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