A top aide for Hillary Clinton said in a scathing statement Wednesday that he thought it was “a national security issue” for Donald Trump to say he “hopes” Russia has the former secretary of state’s deleted emails and releases them.
“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,” Jake Sullivan, Clinton’s top national security and foreign policy adviser, said in a statement. “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 said during a news conference in Doral, Florida that he hoped Russia had emails that he accused Clinton of deleting from her private server and would release them.
A spokesman for the Clinton campaign told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell that remark was “galling.”
“Andrea, that is a galling statement from the Republican nominee for President of the United States,” spokesman Brian Fallon said. “Donald Trump, who is seeking to become our commander in chief is now openly inviting Russia to engage in cyber attacks against the United States. This is a bridge too far.”
Fallon went on to question Trump’s more recent comments on Russia, including remarks he made in a New York Times interview about not rushing to the defense of NATO allies who haven’t paid their debts to the U.S. if Russia were to attack them.
Trump campaign staffers had also intervened to soften language in the 2016 Republican Party platform that would’ve allowed Ukraine arms to combat Russia.