Trump asks Russia to hack classified information
Donald Trump is a very unusual presidential candidate, the first on record of asking a foreign power to hack into government files and take information. Trump’s request is made in hopes that Russia will release information from the hack that will enable Trump to win the election.
So his reason for the request is clear, but it is still a big step—amounting to treason—to ask a foreign power to violate the law and steal government information.
Ashley Parker reports for the NY Times:
Donald J. Trump said Wednesday that he hoped Russia had hacked Hillary Clinton’s email, essentially sanctioning a foreign power’s cyberspying of a secretary of state’s correspondence.
“Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” Mr. Trump said, staring directly into the cameras. “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”
Mr. Trump’s call was an extraordinary moment at a time when Russia is being accused of meddling in the U.S. presidential election. His comments came amid questions about the hacking of the Democratic National Committee’s computer servers, which researchers have concluded was likely the work of two Russian intelligence agencies. . .
And see also this article by Jonathan Chait in New York magazine.
I can’t recall the GOP being so friendly toward Russia in general and toward Putin in particular.
On another front, Trump continues to lie quite openly about not being able to release his tax returns because he’s being audited. As has been repeatedly pointed out to him (and as the IRS has publicly stated), being audited does NOT prevent the release of the tax information. Either Trump has a very serious learning disability (which I think is a definite possibility) or he is knowingly lying even though he knows that his listeners know he is lying. Neither is a good characteristic in a president.
And people are now pointing to Trump’s attacks on Mitt Romney in 2012 because Romney did not release his tax returns fast enough. Romney did release them, though, and Trump still refuses to release his own returns. One can speculate as to the reason, but this is the first time in decades that a presidential candidate has refused to release his returns.