Putin pal Donald Trump asks Russia to cyberattack Clinton and U.S. State Department

Putin pal Donald Trump said on Monday,  Our ‘Friends’ in Russia, China, ‘hacked the hell’ out of DNC emails:

Putin-Trump-KissDonald Trump told a Roanoke, Virginia, rally on Monday night that:

“Little did she (Wasserman Schultz) know, Russia, China, one of our many many ‘friends’ — Trump made a quotation gesture — “came in and hacked the hell out of us. Can you imagine? Can you imagine?” said a gleeful Trump.

The Trump remark was broadcast on CNN. A Buzzfeed video later appeared on the Talking Points memo web site.

Today Trump came perilously close to crossing the line into treason by calling for Russia to help elect him president:

We’ve never seen anything like this.

Donald Trump on Wednesday asked Russia to help find the missing emails from Hillary Clinton’s private server.

“Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” Trump proposed from a podium at his Doral Resort. “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”

The Republican presidential hopeful added that he doesn’t believe Russia was responsible for hacking DNC materials — there’s overwhelming evidence that suggests Trump is wrong — but the GOP candidate said that if Russia did steal Democratic documents, he “hopes” the Russians have Clinton’s emails.

Let’s be very clear about what happened this morning. The Republican candidate for president held a press conference in which he urged Vladimir Putin’s espionage services to help sabotage the American election and put Trump in the White House.

No, seriously. That’s the level of genuine insanity that we’ve reached. Against the backdrop of allegations that Russia is already trying to intervene in the U.S. presidential race on Trump’s behalf, Donald J. Trump took the next step towards true madness today, publicly calling on a foreign government to commit a felony against his American rival on his behalf.

There is literally nothing in the American tradition that’s similar to this. Nothing. Trump is taking his candidacy, his party, and his country into unchartered waters.

The Weekly Standard‘s Stephen Hayes, a conservative Fox News contributor, asked this morning, “How can any Republican support a candidate who openly hopes for foreign cyberattacks on a political opponent?” I don’t know the answer to that question, but I’d love to hear Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, Marco Rubio, and others defend their choice in candidates.

Do you still support Donald Trump, John McCain?  The Clinton campaign responded:

“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,” Clinton senior policy advisor Jake Sullivan said in a statement.

He added: “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.”

Remember, as far as Trump is concerned, those Clinton emails contain sensitive intelligence. In other words, the Republican nominee this morning said he “hopes” Putin’s government gains access to classified government materials because it might help advance Trump’s personal ambitions.

How did we get to this point? Why is this man a major-party nominee for the nation’s highest office? Since when does the Republican Party think it’s acceptable to appeal to rival states to help sabotage a campaign opponent ahead of an election?

Also consider what we’re learning about Trump’s perspective on intelligence. As far as he’s concerned, there’s nothing wrong with urging an unfriendly foreign state to commit a cybercrime against an American for political purposes. If Trump heads the U.S. executive branch, and has some authority over the CIA and NSA, is anyone prepared to argue that he’ll be restrained and responsible?

What more could Trump do to convince people about the dangers of his candidacy? How is this not a disqualifying moment?

This comes on the heels of new reporting about the hack of the DNC. Nancy LeTourneau of the Political Animal Blog summarizes some of the reporting. Putin Attempts to Tip the Scales of a U.S. Presidential Election:

With the release on Friday of 20,000 emails stolen from the DNC’s servers, the story about Donald Trump’s possible ties to Russia’s Vladimir Putin have emerged from the shadows into the mainstream. Both Josh Marshall and Steve Benen have documented the growing evidence about that connection. Based on their lists, here’s a summary:

Financial ties – Marshall does a good job of laying out the fact that Trump’s debt load has grown dramatically and that he has increasingly looked to Russian oligarchs who are connected to Putin for investment funds. That is something Trump’s son stated openly.

“Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets,” Trump’s son, Donald Jr., told a real estate conference in 2008, according to an account posted on the website of eTurboNews, a trade publication. “We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.”

Campaign advisors – It is pretty well-known by now that Trump’s campaign manager Paul Manafort “spent most of the last decade as top campaign and communications advisor for Viktor Yanukovych, the pro-Russian Ukrainian Prime Minister and then President whose ouster in 2014 led to the on-going crisis and proxy war in Ukraine. Yanukovych was and remains a close Putin ally.” In addition, Trump’s advisor on Russian and European affairs, Carter Page, is especially connected to Gazprom – Russia’s state-controlled oil industry.

Right-wing populist movements – As Franklin Foer documents, this has been a long-term Putin strategy.

There’s a clear pattern: Putin runs stealth efforts on behalf of politicians who rail against the European Union and want to push away from NATO. He’s been a patron of Golden Dawn in Greece, Ataka in Bulgaria, and Jobbik in Hungary. Joe Biden warned about this effort last year in a speech at the Brookings Institution: “President Putin sees such political forces as useful tools to be manipulated, to create cracks in the European body politic which he can then exploit.” Ruptures that will likely multiply after Brexit—a campaign Russia’s many propaganda organs bombastically promoted.

Republican platform – As Tierney Sneed documented, the Trump campaign had very little interest in the debates about the Republican platform – except on one issue.

The Trump campaign worked behind the scenes last week to make sure the new Republican platform won’t call for giving weapons to Ukraine to fight Russian and rebel forces, contradicting the view of almost all Republican foreign policy leaders in Washington.

Support for NATO – Just last week Trump hedged on whether or not, as president, he would honor our NATO commitments. Here is Jeffrey Goldberg’s response:

I am arguing that Trump’s understanding of America’s role in the world aligns with Russia’s geostrategic interests; that his critique of American democracy is in accord with the Kremlin’s critique of American democracy; and that he shares numerous ideological and dispositional proclivities with Putin—for one thing, an obsession with the sort of “strength” often associated with dictators. Trump is making it clear that, as president, he would allow Russia to advance its hegemonic interests across Europe and the Middle East. His election would immediately trigger a wave of global instability—much worse than anything we are seeing today—because America’s allies understand that Trump would likely dismantle the post-World War II U.S.-created international order.

DNC email hack – Obviously someone hacked into the DNC server. Cyber-security experts suggest that the person(s) involved have ties to Russia.

Last month, the forensic firm CrowdStrike said two competing Russian intelligence hacker groups penetrated the DNC’s computers. In the past 24 hours, cybersecurity experts have said that the email cache released by WikiLeaks on Friday appears to have been given to the anti-secrecy group by Russian intelligence.

Thomas Rid, a professor at King’s College London, said in an interview that in a private chat on Twitter on Saturday, he communicated with the entity that claimed to have released the email cache to WikiLeaks.

The party, which calls itself Guccifer2, last month claimed responsibility for the DNC hack. Several independent analysts have concluded that Guccifer2, who claimed to be Romanian, is likely linked to Russia.

There is one more tie that has not been mentioned by Marshall, Benen or anyone else that I’ve read about this. When it comes to the documents from the DNC server that were leaked, the fact that they came through Wikileaks is also a significant part of the story. That is because Julian Assange – the founder and director of Wikileaks – has demonstrated close ties to Putin and Russia as well.

For example, in 2012, Assange was given his own talk show on Russia Today (RT) – which is described like this by Alessandra Stanley.

RT, first known as Russia Today, is an English-language news network created by the Russian leader Vladimir V. Putin in 2005 to promote the Kremlin line abroad. (It also broadcasts in Spanish and Arabic.) It’s like the Voice of America, only with more money and a zesty anti-American slant.

It is also true that when Edward Snowden was hiding in Hong Kong and trying to find a country that would give him asylum, it was Assange and staff members associated with Wikileaks who openly took credit for working with Russia to take him in.

trump-putin_website-800x430None of this is evidence that Putin directly controls Trump. That is not the issue. But from start to finish what we are witnessing is an attempt by the Russian leader to use these connections to do what he can to influence U.S. policies and tip the scales of this election in favor of Donald Trump. To be honest, Putin has been relatively clumsy in covering his tracks, but the evidence will never have to pass muster in a court of law. It is simply obvious to any American voter who is actually paying attention.

James Fallows writes at The Atlantic that this controversy has renewed interest in Donald Trump’s tax returns. Trump Time Capsule #57: Russia, and Taxes:

These new developments underscore the importance of an old, familiar point: now, more than ever, Donald Trump must release his tax returns. To put it differently, the press should no longer “normalize” his stonewalling on this issue…

So Donald Trump should release his tax returns because in modern times that is the basic price-of-entry in national politics…He should do it whether or not Vladimir Putin ever existed or there was any Russian hack. That would be true in any candidate’s case, but especially this one. George Will has come out and said that Trump should release his returns because of questions about his ties to “Russian oligarchs.”

With 100-plus days until the election, a nominee about whom there are graver-than-usual financial questions is saying that, unlike previous candidates, he won’t make his finances public.

Even George Will is saying that Trump’s ties to Russia are the real reason why he won’t release his tax returns. Steve Benen adds Trump’s hidden tax returns take on new significance: “Trump can make questions like these go away quickly by doing what every presidential candidate in the post-Watergate era has done.” Trump campaign: No tax returns for you.

20 responses to “Putin pal Donald Trump asks Russia to cyberattack Clinton and U.S. State Department

  1. I can’t believe that Trump planted the idea in the minds of the Russian intelligence community to attempt to spy on the U.S.!!

    What is really sad is the fact that the left is sooo miserable that they would not recognize the sarcasm in the above statement. Just as they did not recognize it in Trump’s.

    Besides, there is really nothing to worry about because Hillary told us there was nothing classified in those emails! So, at worst, the Russians would discover what was on the menu at Chelsea’s wedding reception.

  2. American Vendetta

    Truthiness and Trumpiness. Supporters do not care. I am sitting next to two Trump people as I type this and both believe this is just the liberal media trying to take Trump down. They are pretty happy with his speech today stating that “Trump Destroyed Hillary today”. This is the modern mindset of the Trump movement.

  3. captain*arizona

    who cares how we get the information as long as we get the information snoden manning or who ever it is the information is what is important. payroll hillary blogers :the e-mail messages or damaging how can we respond? attack the messenger. say the messages are not important its the messenger thats important! yeah right hillary paid shills.

    • I was wondering where the Republican trolls were — wait, there you are!

    • “Who cares how we get the information?” Are you freakin’ kidding me???? Do you for a second think that if Russia were to get those emails they wouldn’t use them against us somehow? You Hillary haters need to get your perspectives realigned. Russia = enemy. Hillary = American citizen.

      • For Sure Not Tom

        What you’re doing is the same thing that the Tea Party folks do, they dismiss information if the source is considered “liberal” without considering the information itself.

        If the DNC wasn’t corrupt, there’d be no story.

        Trump gave Hillary a gift when he pretty much committed treason by asking Russia to hack into US systems. Hillary should use that gift, and give up defending the DNC and DWS.

        And FYI, I work in IT, trust me, every country is hacking into every other country, including and especially the US of A. Being outraged at Russian hacking is a pot and kettle moment.

        • *** APPLAUSE ***

        • No matter how you try to spin it, Hillary is not the “clear and present danger here.” Even if she is the “liar” Trump is making her out to be, no reasonable person can believe she is a threat to the world as we know it!

          • For Sure Not Tom

            Hey Linda, this wasn’t a Clinton email hack. I’m in no way saying Trump is anything other than a racist con-man.

            The email hack of the DNC exposed the DNC and DWS as corrupt, which we’ve been saying for months and were told we were paranoid.

            There’s a good article on Politico today about the DNC and DWS, and it’s not sourced from Russian hackers.

        • “Being outraged at Russian hacking is a pot and kettle moment.”

          True, and the same would hold for being outraged at Russian interference in another country’s election. Maybe the lesson to be learned here is that the United States should stop meddling in the internal affairs of other countries, since it doesn’t feel so hot when we believe we’re on the other end of the meddling.

          • For Sure Not Tom

            Yep.

            Since WW2, we’ve tried to overthrow the following (* indicates successful ouster of a government):

            China 1949 to early 1960s
            Albania 1949-53
            East Germany 1950s
            Iran 1953 *
            Guatemala 1954 *
            Costa Rica mid-1950s
            Syria 1956-7
            Egypt 1957
            Indonesia 1957-8
            British Guiana 1953-64 *
            Iraq 1963 *
            North Vietnam 1945-73
            Cambodia 1955-70 *
            Laos 1958 *, 1959 *, 1960 *
            Ecuador 1960-63 *
            Congo 1960 *
            France 1965
            Brazil 1962-64 *
            Dominican Republic 1963 *
            Cuba 1959 to present
            Bolivia 1964 *
            Indonesia 1965 *
            Ghana 1966 *
            Chile 1964-73 *
            Greece 1967 *
            Costa Rica 1970-71
            Bolivia 1971 *
            Australia 1973-75 *
            Angola 1975, 1980s
            Zaire 1975
            Portugal 1974-76 *
            Jamaica 1976-80 *
            Seychelles 1979-81
            Chad 1981-82 *
            Grenada 1983 *
            South Yemen 1982-84
            Suriname 1982-84
            Fiji 1987 *
            Libya 1980s
            Nicaragua 1981-90 *
            Panama 1989 *
            Bulgaria 1990 *
            Albania 1991 *
            Iraq 1991
            Afghanistan 1980s *
            Somalia 1993
            Yugoslavia 1999-2000 *
            Ecuador 2000 *
            Afghanistan 2001 *
            Venezuela 2002 *
            Iraq 2003 *
            Haiti 2004 *
            Somalia 2007 to present
            Honduras 2009
            Libya 2011 *
            Syria 2012
            Ukraine 2014 *

            Sure, that’s a lot of bloodshed, but hey, we have cheap bananas and oil!

            I wonder what this list will look like after another Clinton presidency?

          • Great list, FSNT, but you missed a few: Egypt, 2013, Gaza, 2007.

          • For Sure Not Tom

            Too much foolish meddling to keep track of, and something related should be considered.

            Most people think we’re in fighting in maybe 2, 3 countries? Not so.

            “America’s Elite Forces Deploy to a Record-Shattering 147 Countries in 2015”, according to Tom’s Dispatch.

            147 out of how many countries in the world? 194? And we’re for some gawdawful reason sending Green Berets and Navy Seals into nearly every single one of them?

            “On any day of the year, in fact, America’s most elite troops can be found in 70 to 90 nations.”

            We don’t declare war but we don’t respect borders, this under Obama, and this is why some of us (insert Trump disclaimer here) are horrified at what Clinton may do as Commander in Chief.

          • to For Sure Not Tom: and you aren’t worried about what Trump will do as Commander in Chief???????

          • For Sure Not Tom

            I’m not a Trump supporter.

        • Politico has been all over DNC corruption and collusion regarding the Hillary Victory Fund since last May, at least. Now, of course, they are FULLY vindicated.

          Matt Taibbi breaks it down like a fraction. Even so, don’t expect Hillary supporters to fess up. They seem to be reveling in it, God knows why. Oh, yeah, Trump is a Monster.
          We’ll deal with issues related to integrity and honesty and fair play and not being corrupt later (not).
          ****
          DNC Leak Shows Mechanics of a Slanted Campaign

          Documents released by Wikileaks detail how the DNC worked with the Clinton camp to downplay a key story about questionable fundraising

          By Matt Taibbi
          3 days ago

          http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/features/dnc-leak-shows-mechanics-of-a-slanted-campaign-w430814

      • captain*arizona

        nixon was american citizen too! and that is not the only resemblance.

      • captain*arizona

        nixon was an american citizen too! and there our other resemblances between the too.

        • OMG Capt A! Trump is the one campaigning right out of the Nixon playbook. Sow hate and fear and then tell the people you, only you, are the answer.