In Sanders on Trump and the challenge for the left – full transcript (published in the Guardian, which was behind Operation Clark County), Sanders describe Russian interference in the US presidential election as a bad thing:
Sanders: For a start, what we know to be a fact, is that Russia played a very heavy role in attempting – successfully, I think – to impact our election. That is unacceptable. The evidence is that they have done it before and they will do it again. For all democracies around the world it is not acceptable that democratic institutions are being undermined by an authoritarian government and we ought to figure out how we deal with that – how we protect our democracies and at the same time make certain that Russia stop doing what it is doing. It is absolutely unacceptable. I think probably Obama was not as strong as he should have been in getting that message out to Putin.
I accept that Russia has an authoritarian government. I can accept illegally obtaining information from one side of the race as being a bad thing, but that's the case whether it's done by a foreign individual or by a local. I can accept fake news or other forms of lying as a bad thing, but that's true whoever is doing it, and I'm very hesitant about having restrictions against it.
But is there a rationale for saying that a foreign government interfering in a democratic country's election, no matter what shape or form it is, is intrinsically bad?
To create a hypothetical scenario, if North Korea set up a news channel called "North Korea Today" which had opinion pieces 24/7 for Chelsea Clinton's election in 2020, would North Korea's hostility to the United States and/or its police state nature be rationales for shutting the channel down? Have there been past precedents for something like this?
The Q&A A Beginner’s Guide to the Trump/Russia Controversy described many things about Russia's interference except why it's a bad thing, and What you need to know about Russia’s election hack and why US senators say it “should alarm every American” doesn't really go to the heart of why it's a bad thing. I came across the Quora post Is it actually bad if Russia leaked information that influenced the U.S. electorate during the presidential election? but wasn't that impressed by the quality of the answers.