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Major Trump backer calls Trump's response to alleged Russian election interference 'almost treasonous

Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images

Conservative firebrand and former Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) is not happy with President-elect Donald Trump and the way he has handled potential Russian interference in the presidential election — and he made that abundantly clear during a CNN interview Monday.

During the stunning discussion, Walsh, who has been a staunch advocate for the president-elect, attacked Trump for acting childish and even characterized his dismissal of the CIA's assessment that Russia interfered in the U.S. election as "almost treasonous."

"I’m outraged at the lack of outrage, especially on my side, the Republican side," Walsh told host Brooke Baldwin. "I get that the country is divided, but my god: A foreign government interfered with our election. That should piss everybody off."

The former Tea Party politician, who now hosts his own radio program, called his fellow conservatives out for not taking the CIA's assessment seriously.

"It’s like because our guy won, Trump won, we’re going to keep our mouths shut," Walsh said. "I mean, that’s just so wrong."

But then in a surprising twist, Walsh set his sights directly on Trump, calling the billionaire businessman a "third-grader" who should be "ashamed of himself." Walsh went on to say he agrees with former CIA Director Michael Morell's claim that Russian interference is "the political equivalent of 9/11."

"I don’t think [Trump] fully gets it, Brooke," Walsh continued. "I mean, we’re Americans! This is a foreign government that got involved in our election. I mean, I agree with Mike Morell, that’s like Russia attacked us."

Walsh pointed to the Trump transition team's statement, which attacked the CIA as "the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction," as an example of "almost treasonous" behavior.

"For Donald Trump to come out and attack our men and women in the CIA, that’s almost treasonous," he told the CNN anchor. "Russia attacks us and Trump attacks the CIA. He ought to be the one calling for an investigation."

The former congressman said Trump, who has blocked him on Twitter, needs to use the opportunity as president-elect — and, next month, as president — "to bring the country together and lead an investigation" into potential Russian hacks.

Trump, for his part, has called the CIA's conclusion "ridiculous," telling Fox News, "I don't believe it. Every week it's another excuse."

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