Trump to Russia: Uncover, release deleted Clinton emails

In Moscow, Putin’s spokesman said Russia would never interfere in another country’s election

Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump walks to the stage during first day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Monday, July 18, 2016. (John Locher/AP)

Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump walks to the stage during first day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Monday, July 18, 2016. (John Locher/AP)

WASHINGTON — After Donald Trump encouraged Russia to find and make public missing emails deleted by his presidential opponent, Hillary Clinton, an instant debate exploded over hacking and his urging of a foreign government to meddle in American politics.

Shortly after Trump’s extraordinary remarks Wednesday, his Republican running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, took a different tack and warned of “serious consequences” if Russia interfered in the election.

Democrats — and some Republicans — quickly condemned the remarks by the Republican presidential standard-bearer.

They came as the Democrats met on the third day of their national convention in Philadelphia, where Clinton will accept the presidential nomination Thursday night to face Republican Trump in November.

Trump’s comments raised the question of whether he was condoning foreign government hacking of U.S. computers and the public release of information stolen from political adversaries — actions that are at least publicly frowned upon across the globe. His brief remarks managed to divert attention from an embarrassing leak of other hacked emails that exposed sensitive internal political communications that had divided Democrats.

“Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” Trump said. He was referring to emails on Clinton’s private server that she said she deleted _ because they were private _ before turning other messages over to the State Department. The Justice Department declined to prosecute Clinton over her email practices, but FBI Director James Comey called her “extremely careless” in handling classified information as President Barack Obama’s secretary of state.

The Clinton campaign called Trump’s statement the “first time that a major presidential candidate has actively encouraged a foreign power to conduct espionage against a political opponent.”

At a news conference in Doral, Florida, after Trump’s initial remarks, he was asked whether he had any qualms about asking a foreign government to hack into computers in the United States. Trump did not directly respond except to say, “That’s up to the president. Let the president talk to them.”

He later added: “If Russia or China or any other country has those emails, I mean, to be honest with you, I’d love to see them.”

Trump’s invitation was immediately contradicted by his running mate. Pence condemned any possible cyberespionage, breaking from Trump for the first time since being selected to run with him.

“If it is Russia and they are interfering in our elections, I can assure you both parties and the United States government will ensure there are serious consequences,” Pence said in a statement.

At the convention, Leon Panetta, former CIA director and defence secretary, blasted Trump’s remarks, saying that Trump is “asking a U.S. adversary to engage in hacking or intelligence efforts against the United States of America to affect an election.”

Stephen Miller, senior policy adviser for Trump, battled back, saying in a statement: “It is alarming that Leon Panetta would, through his silence, excuse Hillary Clinton’s enablement of foreign espionage with her illegal email scheme and her corrupt decision to then destroy those emails and dissemble her ‘private’ server to hide her crimes from the public and authorities.”

Brendan Buck, a spokesman for Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan said bluntly: “Russia is a global menace led by a devious thug. Putin should stay out of this election.”

A Trump campaign communications adviser, Jason Miller, sought to clarify Trump’s statements, saying on Twitter that Trump never urged or invited Russia to hack Clinton’s emails. Instead, he said, Trump was “clearly saying” that if Russia or anyone else already had Clinton’s deleted emails they should share them with the FBI.

Trump never mentioned the FBI in his comments.

It was not immediately clear where or how Clinton’s deleted emails might be recovered, unless an adversary had previously hacked the computer server she operated in the basement of her home in Chappaqua, New York, before she had deleted the messages.

The Associated Press, which discovered the basement server’s existence in March 2015, previously reported that it was connected to the internet in ways that made it more vulnerable to hackers. The FBI concluded it was possible hackers broke into her server but found no direct evidence.

Wednesday’s exchange occurred hours after Obama identified Russia as almost certainly responsible for hacking the Democratic National Committee in a different case. WikiLeaks published on its website last week more than 19,000 internal emails stolen from the DNC earlier this year. The emails showed DNC staffers supporting Clinton when they were publicly promising to remain neutral during the primary elections between Sen. Bernie Sanders and her.

The head of the DNC, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, resigned over the disclosures.

Trump cast doubt on whether Russia was behind that hack. He said blaming Russia was deflecting attention from the embarrassing material in the emails.

“Russia has no respect for our country, if it is Russia,” Trump said. “It could be China. It could be someone sitting in his bedroom. It’s probably not Russia. Nobody knows if it’s Russia.”

Obama traditionally avoids commenting on active FBI investigations, but he told NBC News on Tuesday that outside experts have blamed Russia for the leak. Obama also appeared to embrace the notion that President Vladimir Putin might have been responsible because of what he described as Trump’s affinity for Putin. Trump said he has no relationship with Putin.

In Moscow on Wednesday, Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said Russia would never interfere in another country’s election.

Trump’s comments were not the first time he urged hackers to release information to damage a political opponent.

He tweeted in September 2014 about one of his favourite topics — Obama’s birthplace.

“Attention all hackers: You are hacking everything else so please hack Obama’s college records (destroyed?) and check ‘place of birth,”’ Trump wrote.



Trump to Russia: Uncover, release deleted Clinton emails

  1. It was alarming to learn of Reagan’s dementia. The lengths the Americans went to cover it up was understandable by disconcerting.
    Trump’s outrageous behaviour has to make one wonder if there is something else going on inside of that head. The fellow is 70 years old and appears to reverting to adolescent behaviour. It is not beyond the realm of possibilities that he is further along a disabled path than what the Republicans know but won’t admit. Should this be so, the destruction of the Party will be wholesale!!

    • Ronald Reagan wasn’t diagnosed with Alzheimer’s until 1994, and the fact was revealed promptly. While it’s true that this disease process begins many years before obvious disability, in 1987 (when less was known about Alzheimer’s) no one could have said that Reagan was developing it. Lapses of memory are common in seniors and the classic signs, failure to recognize persons the patient knows or stashing a clothes iron in the refrigerator, had not manifested.

      • Anyone that watched Reagan in the public eye, knew he was unable to coherently reason or think.Reagan could have never passed a simple cognitive test in the last three years of his term. Obvious to anyone. It was brought out in 1994 because Republicans were past the incrimination date of having Reaganès infliction harm their political careers.

  2. First off, there can be no hacking of Hillary’s e-mail, as the server in question is in an FBI evidence locker and not connected to the internet. Trump has created a Gordian knot for Hillary. It’s pretty much common knowledge that her server was hacked into, and her e-mails were being read, in real time, by enemies of America while she was SoS. She claims that the 33,000 deleted e-mails were strictly private. However, the Clinton camp is now saying that asking a foreign power to release those deleted e-mails is a matter of state security.
    Well, that door can’t swing both ways. If the deleted e-mails were a matter of state security, then Clinton has committed a grave and serious crime. If they were entirely personal in nature, then she has no reason whatsoever to be concerned if some entity dumps them on to the internet for all to see.
    It gets worse for Hillary from there. If they are a matter of state security, but are held back until after the election, and she wins, Congress will be faced with the prospect of impeaching her. In the after math, the American people would be forced to endure the Presidency of man they did not elect, and likely would not have chosen as VP, had they known the actual scale of Clinton criminality.
    It is also entirely possible that the e-mails are actually strictly personal, as Clinton claims. However, they may still reveal Hillary to be even uglier in her personal life than widely suspected. A pre-election release could completely derail her prospects, but a post-election release could completely nullify her presidency by simply unmasking the real Hillary Clinton.
    Given all the scenario’s, it’s in both Clinton’s and America’s best interests that the deleted e-mails be made public, if they actually exist anymore, before the election.

  3. Russia may not have Clinton’s 30000 deleted State Dept. emails, which she’d kept on a personal server in violation of security procedure and federal law. Yet if Mr. Putin does have them, a release would be no more improper than if Julian Assange had gotten them from Anonymous and they appeared on Wikileaks, an event the Left would love.

    Redacted emails Wilileaks obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show wads of incompetence anyway: Hillary blew into Baghdad exactly once, in April 2009, acting like Queen Victoria on an Indian tour, then returned to Washington to leave Jake Sullivan twisting in the wind dealing with the Iraqi PM, as the US essentially abandoned the Sunnis and Kurds. Soon after, we left Iraq to its fate altogether; so ISIS moved in to saw off human heads.

    It looks like the DNC computer wasn’t too secure, either, as the story of Debbie Wasserman Schulz’s crushing of Bernie’s candidacy emerged. In return for adding a few Bernie planks to the DNC platform, on which Hillary will renege once in office, Bernie agreed to endorse her; yet his face remained as sour as Gromyko’s when he watched Hillary’s coronation speech from the stands. Rigged system, indeed. And one that has trouble with email.

  4. More democrat BS. Trump didn’t steal the emails. And no one has shown evidence that Russia has. Obama is trying to deflect blame by alleging Russian involvement. Obama and Clinton should be held accountable for the hacks getting in. Obama/Clinton/Wasserman colluded to subvert the democratic nomination. Why is that not news? Real people think Democrats are liers, cheats, criminals. Its obvious they have things to hide that are criminal in nature. Everything the media presents is now being deeply scrutinized by Americans, because they realize they have been lied to and the media has been a part of that lie. Why don’t they do full exposes of the clinton/democrat emails? Why are they focused on trump and not on Clinton’s own record? Is this the start of the end of globalization? Ask what the rust belt victims think maybe?

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