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Conservative radio host Buck Sexton joined CNN's Poppy Harlow on Sunday as she hosted a panel to discuss the implication that Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election.
As Sexton began to explain that the conversation about Russian involvement in the U.S. elections has become politicized, Harlow seemed agitated at his response, interrupting him before he could finish. Sexton reasoned with Harlow and the guests that although many have concluded Russia was behind the email hacks, there has been no credible evidence to suggest that it was done specifically to give the election to President-elect Donald Trump.
"There's the reality of the hacking that occured, that most people for months have known — or believed, at least — with high confidence that Russia was behind. And then there's the motive behind it, specifically, was it to help Donald Trump," Sexton said.
He explained that the idea that Russia's aim was specifically to help Donald Trump had not come out in any official intelligence report, and he was quickly challenged by Harlow, who told him, "It is what the CIA believes, it is not what all the intelligence officials believe."
Sexton, who is a former CIA counterterrorism analyst, reminded Harlow that the CIA has not officially released a report indicating their intention was to help Trump, but the connection had only been made by unnamed sources who spoke to the Washington Post. He also explained that the Washington Post itself had clarified in their article that not everyone in the CIA agrees with the assessment.
Sexton later went on to say that people are conflating the two issues, and told the Harlow and the other panelists, "Between fake news, the Russian interference in the election, the FBI director — at some point I think it would just be best for the left to accept that they lost this election because they had an imperfect candidate who couldn't get it done. That would be better for all of America."
Watch the tense interaction below:
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Sara Gonzales is the host of “The News & Why It Matters.”