President Barack Obama announced a new set of sanctions against the Russian government Thursday, which were issued in part because of hacks targeting the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee. The intelligence community believes these attacks were backed by Russia.
President-elect Donald Trump, for his part, suggested on Wednesday that he would rather move past discussing these hacks. “I think we ought to get on with our lives,” the incoming president said. “I think that computers have complicated lives very greatly. The whole age of computer has made it where nobody knows exactly what is going on. We have speed, we have a lot of other things, but I’m not sure we have the kind, the security we need.”
In response to the new sanctions and the broader discussion of Russia’s efforts to place Trump in the White House, Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) claimed on MSNBC Thursday afternoon that President Obama’s “main motivation is to delegitimize this election.” Then Franks suggested that Russia may have provided America with a public service with its targeted attacks on Democrats.
“If Russia succeeded in giving the American people information that was accurate,” Franks claimed, “then they merely did what the media should have done.”
Rep Franks:"If Russia succeeded in giving…info that was accurate…they merely did what the media should've done" https://t.co/NSZqUJz81Q
— Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) December 29, 2016
As a reminder, the Russian-backed hacks targeted business emails exchanged within the DNC, as well as the personal email account of Clinton campaign chair John Podesta. It is generally considered bad form for reporters to hack either an organization or a famous person’s email and then dump the contents of those emails online. Nevertheless, Franks apparently feels that it is the media’s job to engage in such illegal hacking.
Not wishing to engage in such illegal activity ourselves, ThinkProgress asked Franks on Twitter if, given his new position on public transparency, he would voluntarily provide us with the password to his personal email account.
I am a member of the media. Given your view on transparency, can I have the password to your personal email account? https://t.co/Uy58viV9Gk
— Ian Millhiser (@imillhiser) December 29, 2016
As of this writing, Franks has not responded to this inquiry. ThinkProgress will update this post if we receive a response. We will also post the entirety of Franks’ personal email archive online in the event that Rep. Franks decides that the privacy standard he applied to Mr. Podesta should also be applied to himself.