Donald Trump on Tuesday urged Russia to hack and make public the 30,000 emails missing from the private server used by Hillary Clinton while she was Secretary of State. There’s one problem with that suggestion: Trump previously said on the campaign trail that Clinton “put the entire country in danger” by sharing classified information via that private email server.
“Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you can find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” Trump said from the podium during a press conference in Florida.
Which means that Trump just told a foreign power that it should go digging for state secrets. That isn’t a good look for someone who could become the President of the United States when the election is held in November. Cyberwarfare is a growing threat and presidential nominees probably shouldn’t encourage other countries to go rummaging through classified emails. And yet.
Here’s a video showing the remarks Trump made during today’s speech:
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Trump later said the hack of the Democratic National Convention was “probably not Russia” and that it was up to Russia’s Vladimir Putin to decide what the country should do. “I’m not going to tell Putin what to do. Why should I tell Putin what to do?” Trump said immediately after telling Putin what he should do. He also noted that while he’s not met Putin, the Russian leader would respect him.
The remarks come shortly after Trump revealed a facepalm-worthy stance on cybersecurity during an interview with David E. Sanger and Maggie Haberman. “Yes. I am a fan of the future, and cyber is the future,” he said then, offering essentially no insight into how exactly he planned to address the looming threat posed by cyberwarfare and cyberespionage in this day and age.
This tweet from 2014 might offer a clue as to how Trump views cybersecurity:
Trump was right: It is hard to have “great national security in the age of computers” and Clinton’s private email server did put people at risk. But encouraging another country to search for those messages, especially if the emails contain personal data from people who haven’t done anything wrong, probably isn’t going to help make things better.
Here’s the full press conference: