The Latest: Clinton adviser says Trump encouraging hackers
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the hacking of the Democratic National Committee (all times local):
A senior adviser for Hillary Clinton’s campaign is accusing Donald Trump of encouraging a foreign government to spy against his opponent.
During a news conference, Trump addressed Russia and said he hoped the country could find Clinton’s missing 30,000 emails that were deleted from her personal server while she was secretary of state. When asked if he had any pause about encouraging a foreign government to hack into U.S. computers, he said “That’s up to the president.”
Clinton’s senior policy adviser Jake Sullivan said in an emailed statement: “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. 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.”
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump says that if foreign governments have the 33,000 emails deleted from Hillary Clinton’s private email server, they should make them public.
“I will tell you this. Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing,” Trump said. “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”
At a press conference Wednesday in Doral, Florida, Trump was asked whether he had any pause about asking a foreign government to hack into computers in the United States. Trump did not directly respond except to say, “That’s up to the president. Let the president talk to them.”
Trump complained anew that Clinton had deleted roughly 33,000 emails from her private server before turning over the rest to the Obama administration.
“That gives me a problem,” Trump said. “Now, if Russia or China or any other country has those e-mails, I mean, to be honest with you, I’d love to see them.”
A spokesman for House Speaker Paul Ryan says Russian President Vladimir Putin should stay out of the U.S. presidential election.
The brief statement from Brendan Buck on Wednesday comes as Democrats blamed Russia for hacking the Democratic National Committee. Republican Donald Trump called for Russia to infiltrate Hillary Clinton’s email, an unprecedented suggestion to a foreign power to conduct cyberspying on a presidential candidate.
Buck said in a statement: “Russia is a global menace led by a devious thug. Putin should stay out of this election.”
Ryan is backing Trump’s candidacy though he has been tepid in his endorsement, calling out the nominee on immigration and other issues.
Donald Trump’s running mate, Mike Pence, says there should be “serious consequences” if Russia is found to be interfering in the U.S. electoral process.
In a statement Wednesday, Pence said “both parties and the United States government will ensure there are serious consequences” to the hacking.
But in a press conference moments earlier, Trump declined to speak out against the breach to Democratic National Committee computers, which the Democrats have blamed on Russia.
Instead, he called on Russia to find the missing emails from Hillary Clinton’s personal server, since they probably contain “some beauties.”
Trump said he has no relationship to Russian President Vladimir Putin and does not know if Russia or some other country is responsible for the DNC breach.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump says statements that Russia was responsible for hacking the Democratic National Committee were “far-fetched, so ridiculous.” He said blaming Russia was deflecting attention from the embarrassing material in the emails, which WikiLeaks published last week on its website.
Trump said Wednesday at a press conference in Doral, Florida, “Russia has no respect for our country, if it is Russia. It could be China. It could be someone sitting in his bedroom.”
Trump said the emails, which showed DNC staffers behind the scenes supporting Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, demonstrated that the primary elections were what he called “a fixed race.”
“It was a rigged race, totally rigged,” Trump said.
The head of a cybersecurity firm says no one should be shocked that a foreign nation would want to break into a digital trove of American political communications.
Paul Kurtz is the chief executive officer of TruSTAR Technology and a former White House cyber adviser.
He says it’s not surprising that a country like Russia would have an interest in penetrating a system like that of the Democratic National Committee. He says past political campaigns also have been targeted.
Kurtz says it can sometimes make sense to publicly identify the culprit of major hacks. But he said it can often make more sense to broadly share information about how the hack occurred, so as to prevent and deter future attacks.
Hillary Clinton is “alarmed” by the possibility that the Russian government was involved with the theft of emails from the Democratic National Committee.
Top campaign aide Jake Sullivan says Clinton “does not view this as a political issue” but as a “national security issue.”
On Tuesday, President Barack Obama implied that Russian President Vladimir Putin may have reason to facilitate the attack.
Clinton, who has spent the last few days at her New York home, was briefed on the attack, says Sullivan. She has not commented on the incident. Top campaign officials have previously suggested that the goal of the hack was to benefit GOP rival Donald Trump’s campaign.
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, while not directly denying Russian involvement in the hack, says Moscow would never interfere in another country’s election.
“President Putin more than once has said the Russia would never interfere and does not interfere in the internal affairs of other countries, especially in the electoral process,” Dmitry Peskov told journalists Wednesday in a conference call.
Peskov also criticized the willingness to accuse Russia of wrongdoing. “If we talk about some sort of suspicions against a country, then it is necessary at a minimum to be precise and concrete,” the spokesman said. He said “speculation in this case does not show a constructive attitude.”
President Barack Obama’s decision to identify Russia as almost certainly the culprit in hacking the Democratic National Committee and releasing politically embarrassing emails fits his administration’s new penchant for openly blaming foreign governments for such break-ins.
Even as the U.S. continues to secretly hack its own adversaries, Obama is raising the stakes for countries caught behind the keyboards engaging in cyber espionage. That includes even major powers like Russia and China.
Obama traditionally avoids commenting on active FBI investigations. But he told NBC News that outside experts have blamed Russia for the leak and appeared to embrace the notion that President Vladimir Putin might have been responsible.
The developing U.S. strategy, unofficially dubbed “name and shame,” is intended to raise diplomatic consequences for foreign governments involved in state-sponsored hacking.