Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump called on Russian hackers to hack Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s email. The reason he gave as to why they should do this? According to him, the media will reward them "mightily."
At a press conference at his own resort in Florida, Trump gave one of his now signature tirades, according to CNN. "Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing," said Trump on Wednesday. "I think you'll be rewarded mightily by our press." Trump was referring to the Russian hackers who are believed to be responsible for the leak of DNC emails on WikiLeaks, which lead to the resignation of committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
In March, Hillary Clinton admitted that her lawyers deleted around 30,000 messages off of her private email system, which she categorized as "personal." Although the FBI has released most of her emails as public information, Trump clearly wants to go further by requesting foreign help for, well, spying.
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 27, 2016
According to Hillary for America senior policy adviser Jake Sullivan, this is the first time a presidential candidate has actively and openly called for foreign "espionage" on another American politician. Because both Trump and Clinton are high profile, many fear this request could have more of an effect on the election than Trump thought.
Both sides of the aisle are insisting that Russia, or any other country, keep their hands off the election and not hack into any candidate.
Donald Trump is actively encouraging Russia to conduct espionage against his political opponent. Trump is a threat to national security.
— Adam J. Smith (@AdamSmith_usa) July 27, 2016
Trump, to no one's surprise, is attempting to backtrack on his statement. "Of course, I'm being sarcastic," he said in an interview with "Fox and Friends" on Thursday. "But you have 33,000 emails deleted, and the real problem is what was said in those emails from the Democratic National Committee."
Trump also went on to once again show he's buddy-buddy with Putin. “Putin has much better leadership qualities than Obama,” he said in the interview. "I said he’s a better leader than Obama, because Obama’s not a leader, so he’s certainly doing a better job than Obama is, and that’s all."
It is still unknown to either side if Russian hackers verifiably hacked the DNC and where their loyalties truly lie.
This is far from the first time anyone has made an inquiry into Clinton’s emails. It was discovered in late 2014 that she had emailed from a private server, rather than a government email address, communicating some sensitive information during her time as secretary of state. This was an action that both sides called foul on. Clinton later released about half of the emails—whatever she did not delete due to privacy—and was cleared of any charges, despite investigators finding her email use negligent.
It's still unclear what Trump hopes to gain by saying any of this, but let's just all hold our breaths and hope that Russian hackers don't begin to insert themselves right into the middle of this election.