During a news conference in Florida today, Donald J. Trump — a man who is running for what is arguably the most powerful job in the world — challenged Russia to hack into opponent Hillary Clinton’s email.
“Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” Trump said, according to the New York Times. “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”
US officials have said that Russia is most likely responsible for the recent security breach in which hackers accessed a cache of internal emails from the Democratic National Convention. WikiLeaks released the trove of documents last week.
Whether or not the comment was made in jest — a possibility given Trump’s miserable attempts at humour and something resembling a smirk visible in video of the moment — it’s doesn’t quite hit the mark, given that he’s now expressly encouraged a powerful country with an eccentric leader to hack into the email of a US presidential candidate.
Clinton’s camp has responded, calling Trump’s comments “a national security issue”.