Trump is not one to shy away from bold statements. Today he asked Russia, other countries or whoever has Hillary’s stuff, to hand over the 33,000 emails to the FBI. What say you America?
Donald Trump has a message for Russia: find Hillary Clinton’s missing emails.
The Republican presidential nominee, holding a Wednesday press conference, said that the 30,000 missing emails from Clinton’s private email server would reveal ‘some beauties’ and made an extraordinary plea for a foreign power to locate them.
‘Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,’ Trump said. ‘I think you’ll be rewarded mightily by our press!’
Trump, whom Democrats have accused of having cozy ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin, repeatedly declined to condemn the actions of Russia or any other foreign power of trying to intervene in the a U.S. election.
‘No, it gives me no pause,’ the celebrity businessman said. ‘If Russia or China or any of those country gets those emails, I’ve got to be honest with you, I’d love to see them.’
Clinton’s campaign has said that Russia hacked computers belonging to the Democratic National Convention and released those emails on the eve of the party’s convention to benefit Trump’s candidacy.
Trump dismissed the claims, saying it’s not clear who hacked those emails, but the hacking is a sign that foreign countries no longer respect the U.S.
‘If it’s any foreign country it shows how little respect they have for the United States,’ said Trump, who added that he was ‘not an email person myself because I believe it can be hacked.’
Trump has said that he has ‘zero investments’ in Russia and insisted that his company had not received any significant investments from the country.
He also has downplayed his affection for Putin and said he would treat the Russian leader ‘firmly,’ though he said he wanted to improve relations with Russia.
Trump’s challenge occurred after President Barack Obama identified Russia as almost certainly responsible for hacking the Democratic National Committee.
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 actively supporting Clinton when they were publicly promising to remain neutral during the primary elections between Clinton and rival candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders.
The head of the DNC, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, resigned over the disclosures, which disrupted this week’s convention.
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.
Obama said he was basing his assessment on Trump’s own comments and the fact that Trump has ‘gotten pretty favorable coverage back in Russia.’
He added that the U.S. knows that ‘Russians hack our systems — not just government systems, but private systems.’
In Moscow on Wednesday, Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said Russia would never interfere in another country’s election.
‘What the motives were in terms of the leaks, all that, I can’t say directly,’ Obama said. ‘What I do know is that Donald Trump has repeatedly expressed admiration for Vladimir Putin.’
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said his organization would not disclose who provided it with the stolen material.
WikiLeaks said on Twitter that it timed its publication of the emails – days before the Democratic convention was starting – ‘when our verification, research and formatting process was complete and on a day likely to generate interest.’
On Tuesday, Assange said on CNN that ‘a lot more’ material was coming but provided no details.
There was a furious response from the Clinton campaign.
Leon Panetta, the former CIA director who is endorsing her publicly in a speech at the DNC on Wednesday, questioned Trump’s loyalty to the country.
Speaking on CNN he said: ‘No presidential candidate who’s running to be president of the United States ought to be asking a foreign country, particularly Russia, to engage in hacking or intelligence efforts to try to determine what the Democratic candidate may or may not be doing.
“This just is beyond my own understanding of the responsibilities that candidates have to be loyal to their country and to their country alone, not to reach out to somebody like Putin and Russia, and try to engage them in an effort to try to, in effect, conduct a conspiracy against another party.’