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Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer joined "Special Report" Thursday to discuss his take on the announcement of the Obama Administration's sanctions against Russia as punishment for allegedly meddling in the presidential election.

He called the sanctions a "slap on the wrist" but said there is no reason for President-elect Donald Trump to downplay it.

"The timing is ridiculous." Krauthammer said. "If you're going to do this, you do it when it happens. You don't say to Vladimir Putin during an election, 'Cut it out.' This is adolescent. You say there will be consequences and you make them stick."

Krauthammer said it is a mistake for Trump to downplay the sanctions.

"It doesn't help him; it makes him look defensive," Krauthammer said. It's not going to have any effect on the outcome. Once there's a change in presidencies, this is not going to be a major issue. The sanctions are so ridiculously small and tit-for-tat. You can be sure the Russians are going to expel an equal number of Americans."

In the end, Krauthammer called this situation a "fairly trivial affair."

"The Russians...they stole our mail, they read our mail, they published our mail. That's called espionage; you're not supposed to do that. You do it, we punish you. That should have been done 18 months ago," he said.

Watch the full panel discussion above.


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