By Mallory Shelbourne - 01-01-17 14:37 PM EST
President-elect Donald Trump's press secretary pick questioned Sunday whether Hillary Clinton will be "punished" for what he said were her attempts to influence the election.
When asked about the U.S. intelligence assessment that Russian hackers tried to influence the presidential election in favor of Trump during a Sunday segment on ABC's "This Week," Sean Spicer turned the question around.
"When are we going to start talking about the other side of this? Which is: What did Hillary Clinton do to influence the election? Is she being punished in any way?" Spicer asked, referencing the fact the Democratic nominee received debate questions ahead of time during the primary.
That revelation came out as part of leaked emails from her campaign chairman that have been blamed on Russian hacking. The Obama administration in October formally accused Russia of trying to interfere in election through cyber attacks and last week, sanctioned Russia by expelling 35 Russian officials and barring Russian officials from two sites believed to be used for Russian intelligence purposes.
Spicer said the media is too focused on Trump's reaction to the Russian hacking.
"The fact is that everyone wants to make Donald Trump admit to certain things," Spicer said.
"But the fact of the matter is, we're having part of a conversation. Why aren't we talking about ... other influences on the election?" he asked.
"Why aren't we talking about Hillary Clinton getting debate questions ahead of time? That's a pretty valid attempt to influence an election," he continued.
"... I can tell you this, if my boss at the time, Reince Priebus, had gotten the debate questions, and handed them off, he would have been driven out of this town on a stake, and Donald Trump would have been vilified. No one wants to ask those questions now."