WASHINGTON ― Rep. Rod Blum (R-Iowa) on Sunday mocked the Democratic National Committee for being the victim of a cyberattack.
“Walked to work past DNC HQ this afternoon. Nobody there - I guess they couldn’t ‘hack’ this cold weather!” the freshman congressman posted to Facebook on a day marked by below-freezing temperatures in Washington.
The CIA, FBI and National Security Agency have determined that Russian President Vladimir Putin directed efforts to interfere in the 2016 U.S. election with the goal of helping President-elect Donald Trump win, according to a stunning report made public on Friday. Moscow’s attempts to meddle with the election included email hacks directed at the DNC, which Trump referenced frequently on the campaign trail.
The president-elect has repeatedly refused to acknowledge or denounce Russia for its actions. He and his advisers insist the email hack had no effect on the election outcome, and have attempted to change the conversation by blaming the DNC for not taking enough steps to avoid email theft.
Democrats called on Blum to apologize for his comments, accusing the congressman of not taking a foreign cyberattack seriously.
“Congressman Rod Blum clearly and naively believes that Russia’s meddling in our election and the threat they pose to our national security and infrastructure are laughing matters,” Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spokesman Tyler Law said in a statement. “Rod Blum’s refusal to put America first is both dangerous and unpatriotic. He should immediately apologize.”
But Blum declined to do so, according to a statement his staff sent to The Huffington Post on Monday. The congressman said Democrats ought to “relax a little bit” in response to what he characterized as a “harmless joke.”
“The fake outrage and political correctness of the Washington, DC elite is exactly what people in the rest of America are sick of,” Blum said. “My advice to Washington is to relax a little bit and let themselves chuckle at a harmless joke. We all need a little more humor in our lives, especially in the joyless world of politics.”
This isn’t the first time Blum’s sense of humor has landed him in hot water. Last year, he set off a firestorm of criticism after he said he wished the nation’s capital would suffer an actual recession.