Donald Trump Encourages Russia to Hack Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton’s camp says Donald Trump’s plea for Russia to hack Clinton constitutes espionage.

Updated 7/28/2016: Donald Trump told Fox News on Wednesday evening that he was merely being "sarcastic" when he challenged Russia to hack Hillary Clinton's emails. Trump said that it could have been Russia, China, or "somebody else" who hacked the DNC emails this week. 

Trump also commented to Fox,

But you have 33,000 emails deleted and the real problem is what was said on those emails from the Democratic National Committee. You take a look at what was said on those emails, it's disgraceful. It's disgraceful. They talk about religion, they talk about race, they talk about all sorts of things, including women. And what they said on those emails is a disgrace, and they're just trying to deflect from that.

EXCLUSIVE: @realDonaldTrump shoots back after critics slam him for Russia comment. Catch @kilmeade's interview @ 6am

— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) July 28, 2016

See original story below.

Following a statement from President Obama that Russia is the most likely culprit behind the politically embarrassing email hack of the Democratic National Convention, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump publicly encouraged Russia to hack Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. According to the New York Times, Trump told Russia that it would likely be "rewarded mightily" by U.S. press if they can find and release more of Clinton's emails.

Trump made the comment after reporters asked questions regarding the WikiLeaks dump of DNC emails that contained correspondence from parry insiders where, among other things, Democrats talked about derailing Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign. 

During the press conference Wednesday, Trump asked Russia to find the 30,000 Clinton emails that were not released as a part of the Congressional and FBI investigations into emails that were sent from a private server during Clinton's tenure as Secretary of State, the New York Times reported. Trump further stated that he doubts the DNC email hacks were conspiratorial or related to the upcoming U.S. presidential election.

But clearly Trump and his vice presidential running mate Mike Pence didn't get on the same page before they spoke out individually about the DNC hacks. Pence made a statement on Wednesday saying that Russia faces "serious consequences" if they are behind the hack, Reuters reported. The Indiana governor said, "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."

Hillary Clinton's Senior Policy Advisor Jake Sullivan responded to Trump's comments stating, 

This has to be the first time that a major presidential candidate has actively encouraged a foreign power to commit 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. 

Clinton camp response to Trump

— Sam Stein (@samstein) July 27, 2016

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