The Republican nominee appeared to encourage the Russians to hack the emails of Hillary Clinton and release them to the press, he also got confused as to who Clinton's VP choice was, confusing Tim Kaine of Virginia with the former governor of New Jersey, Thomas Kean.
As press conferences go, this was one for the history books. It led to The New York Times immediately having the story of the presser lead it website, rushing out a story.
At the center of the press conference was the issue of the hacked emails at the DNC. At one point Trump stared at the camera and urged the Russians to hack, or release, any emails they have from Hillary Clinton.
“Russia, if you are listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press,” Trump said.
Reporter @KatyTurNBC asked Trump if he had qualms about asking Russia to hack Clinton.
He told her to "be quiet" pic.twitter.com/ZN0o35H6j7
— David Mack (@davidmackau) July 27, 2016
The Trump campaign immediately went into emergency repair spin mode, saying the candidate was being tongue-in-cheek.
Unfortunately, Trump provided the press with plenty of material, including a strange moment where the Republican nominee recalled a conversation with a friend where he asked about their trip to France.
“How do you like France?” Trump said he asked. “I wouldn’t go to France, I wouldn’t go to France, because France is no longer France. France is no longer France,” Trump said, then added “they won’t like me for saying that.”
The New York Times yesterday ran two stories which pointed the finger of blame for the hack at Russia, and also said the motivation behind the WikiLeaks timing of the release of those emails was Julian Assange’s dislike of Hillary Clinton.
“The assessment by the intelligence community of Russian involvement in the D.N.C. hacking, which largely echoes the findings of private cybersecurity firms that have examined the electronic fingerprints left by the intruders, leaves President Obama and his national security aides with a difficult diplomatic and political decision: whether to publicly accuse the government of President Vladimir V. Putin of engineering the hacking,” NYT reporters David Sanger and Eric Schmitt wrote.
In another story, Charlie Savage of the Times said the reason for the leak now is due to WikiLeaks founder Assange’s belief that Clinton “has a long history of being a liberal war hawk,” and will continue that behavior as president.
Donald Trump mixed up Hillary Clinton’s running mate, Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, with the former governor of New Jersey during a news conference on Wednesday.
“Her running mate Tim Kaine, who by the way did a terrible job in New Jersey — first act he did in New Jersey was ask for a $4 billion tax increase and he was not very popular in New Jersey and he still isn’t,” Trump said.
Corrected by reporters, who suggested he might be confusing Kaine with Thomas Kean, a Republican who governed New Jersey from 1982 to 1990, Trump clarified.
“What? I mean Virginia.”
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on Wednesday said he hoped that Russia would hack into Hillary Clinton’s email server to find “missing” messages and release them to the public.
“Russia, if you’re listening I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press,” Trump said during a press conference at his Doral resort in South Florida on Wednesday.
“They probably have them. I’d like to have them release. It gives me no pause, if they have them, they have them,” Trump added later when asked if his comments were inappropriate. “If Russia or China or any other country has those emails, I mean to be honest with you, I’d love to see them.”
The Clinton campaign was quick to respond. Said advisor Jake Sullivan: “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.”
Referring to statements about whether he could have been the hacker, Trump said: “Honestly it’s so far-fetched. It’s so ridiculous. Honestly I wish I had that power. I’d love to have that power.”
Vice presidential candidate Mike Pence issued a statement Wednesday morning saying that the FBI will get to the bottom of who is behind the hacking.
“If it is Russia and they are interfering in our elections, I can assure you both parties and the United States government will ensure there are serious consequences,” he said. “That said, the Democrats singularly focusing on who might be behind it and not addressing the basic fact that they’ve been exposed as a party who not only rigs the government, but rigs elections while literally accepting cash for federal appointments is outrageous. The American people now have absolute and further proof of the corruption that exists around Hillary Clinton. It should disqualify her from office, if the media did their job.”
Following Trump’s thread on Russia was practically impossible. On one hand, he portrayed the act of hacking into Democratic emails as “a total sign of disrespect,” yet in the next breath he pleaded with foreign powers to do just that. He said he was “not going to tell Putin what to do.” He also insisted, “I have nothing to do with Putin. I don’t know anything about him, other than he will respect me.”
Trump previously claimed a friendship with the Russian president. “I got to know him very well because we were both on 60 Minutes, we were stablemates,” he said. That was later revealed as a lie: Although both men were on the same episode of the show, they had never met.
The IRS has maintained all along that the audit status has nothing to do with whether the returns can be released. As The Hill and many other outlets noted early this year:
“Nothing prevents individuals from sharing their own tax information,” the IRS said in a statement.”