It seems increasingly likely that Russia was responsible for the hack of Democratic National Committee emails released last week that embarrassed party officials before their national convention. Among other things, the leaked exchanges illuminated evident bias towards Hillary Clinton on the part of some DNC officials. The release of the emails seemed timed to maximize division among the Democrats by inflaming diehard Bernie Sanders supporters.
Now, Republican nominee Donald Trump has said he hopes Russia can “find the 30,000 emails that are missing” from former Secretary of State Clinton’s email account, the New York Times reports:
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.”
Jake Sullivan, a senior policy adviser for Clinton said in a statement:
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. 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.
Trump has also said he doesn’t think Russia committed the DNC email hack.
This seems like a good time to again quote U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) on why we shouldn’t worry about Trump’s admiration for Russian quasi-autocrat Vladimir Putin. As David Ramsey wrote last week, Cotton, a neocon darling for his loud hawkishness and devotion to national security issues, is trying to thread a needle by supporting a candidate whose foreign policy views often run diametrically opposed to his stated values. Here’s what Cotton told a CNBC reporter when asked about his support for Trump:
I suspect, after this week, when Donald Trump is the nominee and he begins to receive classified briefings, similar briefings to what I receive as a member of the Intelligence Committee, he may have a different perspective on Vladimir Putin and what Russia is doing to America’s interests and allies in Europe and the Middle East and Asia.