The Clinton camp slammed Donald Trump on Wednesday for encouraging Russian espionage during a press conference earlier in the day. Senior policy aide Jake Sullivan condemned the Republican nominee’s unprecedented suggestion that Russia should hack the Democratic email system as a threat to national security.
“This has to be the first time that a major presidential candidate has actively encouraged a foreign power to conduct espionage against his political opponent,” said senior policy aide Jake Sullivan. “That’s not hyperbole, those are just the facts. This has gone from being a matter of curiosity, and a matter of politics, to being a national security issue.”
Speaking during an impromptu press conference on Wednesday morning, Trump said that if Russia were to release Clinton’s 30,000 “missing emails,” they would be “rewarded mightily.”
It would be interesting to see, I will tell you this. Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.”
He continued: “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”
John Podesta, Clinton’s campaign chairman, noted that Russia has interfered with democracy in various European nations, but meddling in U.S. affairs this way would be “unprecedented.”
“The Russians do have a history of interfering with Democratic elections in Europe,” Podesta told reporters on Tuesday. “I think it would be unprecedented in the United States.”
Experts have traced the self-proclaimed hacker, Guccifer 2.0, back to Russian internet servers and a digital address that has been connected to numerous Russian online scams. Researchers are also convinced that the DNC hack is not the work of a “sophisticated hacker,” but rather is a collection of people in the propaganda arm of the Russian government who are trying to take the heat off of Moscow.
When asked about Trump’s involvement with the Russian leader, Podesta replied, “He certainly has a bromance with Mr. Putin, so I don’t know.”
There is increasing suspicion that the DNC hack was an effort by the Russian president to help out his billionaire buddy in the presidential election. Trump has denied this, but his remarks today certainly didn’t make his claims any more credible.
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