In Which Donald Trump Encourages Russia to Spy on the US
So today, Donald Trump was so desperate for media attention after two days of the Democratic convention that he held a press conference (which in itself is pretty outrageous, since by tradition US parties don’t campaign during each other’s conventions), and actually encouraged Russia to spy on the US.
Yes, he really did this.
DORAL, Fla. — Donald J. Trump said Wednesday that he hoped Russia had hacked Hillary Clinton’s email, essentially encouraging an adversarial foreign power’s cyberspying on a secretary of state’s correspondence.
“Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” Mr. Trump said, staring directly into the cameras. “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”
Mr. Trump’s call was an extraordinary moment at a time when Russia is being accused of meddling in the U.S. presidential election. His comments came amid questions about the hacking of the Democratic National Committee’s computer servers, which researchers have concluded was likely the work of two Russian intelligence agencies.
Later in the news conference, when asked if he was really urging a foreign nation to hack into the private email server of Mrs. Clinton, or at least meddle in the nation’s elections, he dismissed the question. “That’s up to the president,” Mr. Trump said, before finally saying “be quiet” to the female questioner. “Let the president talk to them.”
Needless to say, this isn’t going over very well with people whose business it is to protect the US from foreign governments’ cyber-espionage.
Fmr. CIA Director Leon Panetta on Trump call for Russia HRC hacking: “That’s beyond the pale,” unfit to be President pic.twitter.com/bV5rIcOr5O
Mike Pence immediately got out in front of the press and tried to do some clean-up:
But of course, Trump then doubled down with another tweet making it very clear he wasn’t joking:
If Russia or any other country or person has Hillary Clinton’s 33,000 illegally deleted emails, perhaps they should share them with the FBI!
This is absolutely unprecedented behavior… again! … for a presidential candidate. And I’m wondering if there’s any way to stop Trump from receiving national security briefings, since he clearly does not understand the implications of what he just said.
I hope Reince Priebus is proud of what his party has done by nominating someone this irresponsible and reckless.
And believe it or not, this isn’t the first time Trump has asked Russia to spy on his political enemies.
Attention all hackers: You are hacking everything else so please hack Obama’s college records (destroyed?) and check “place of birth”
Newt Gingrich says this was just a joke, even though Trump has already doubled down and made it clear it wasn’t.
The media seems more upset by Trump’s joke about Russian hacking than by the fact that Hillary’s personal server was vulnerable to Russia
By the way, those “30,000 emails” Trump says are “illegally deleted” and missing? They weren’t illegally deleted and they’re not missing.