"I wish they hadn't gone to such extents to undermine efforts to get tough on Russia," Cotton said. (Graeme Jennings/Examiner)

Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., said the Obama administration’s recent sanctions against Russia marked President Obama as a latecomer to efforts to take a harder line on Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin.

He said Obama had actively “undermined” earlier legislative efforts by Congress to confront Russia.

“I wish they hadn’t gone to such extents to undermine efforts to get tough on Russia,” Cotton, a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said during an appearance on “Fox News Sunday.” He said the administration lobbied lawmakers against such legislative efforts in the past, claiming that the legislation would hurt the State Department’s diplomatic efforts with Russia.

Cotton also said the administration was using the apparent Russian hacking of the Democratic National Committee’s servers and that of Hillary Clinton campaign manager John Podesta to cloud the issue of how Clinton lost the election.

Russia’s efforts had very little impact on the actual vote, he argued. “It was Hillary Clinton’s … own failings as a candidate” that determined the fate of the election, he said.

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