Joe Manchin Says Dems Questioning Trump’s Win Are Giving Putin What He Wants

(REUTERS/Joshua Roberts/File)

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Michael Bastasch Energy Editor

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin went after fellow Democrats who questioned the legitimacy of President-elect Donald Trump’s election victory, arguing that doing so only helps the Russians undermine the U.S. political system.

“All of this discord we see going on between congressmen not attending, people basically saying he’s not legitimate, basically then the Russians have accomplished what they tried to accomplish,” Manchin told CNN Monday morning.

Georgia Democratic Rep. John Lewis told NBC News’s Chuck Todd Friday he did not see Trump as a “legitimate” president.

“I believe in forgiveness. I believe in trying to work with people, but it’s going to be very difficult,” said Lewis, a famous civil rights icon. “I don’t see this president-elect as a legitimate president.”

“I think the Russians participated in helping this man get elected and they helped destroy the candidacy of Hillary Clinton,” Lewis said.

Trump shot back at Lewis on Twitter Saturday.

Democrats were up in arms over Trump’s response, but Manchin did not join fellow Democrats in criticizing Trump or questioning the results of the election.

“I just think it’s wrong and it’s hurtful for the United State of America,” said Manchin, who was reportedly under consideration by Trump for energy secretary.

Intelligence officials recently released a report claiming Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a series of cyber attacks to undermine the results of the U.S. election. Officials also said Putin wanted to undermine former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

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