From The Associated Press:
WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump encouraged Russia to meddle in American politics Wednesday, with a stunning recommendation to uncover and make public hacked emails that might damage his opponent, Hillary Clinton.
Shortly after Trump’s remarks, his running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, took a different tack and warned of “serious consequences” if Russia interfered in the election.
The developments came as Democrats met on the third day of their presidential convention in Philadelphia, where Clinton will claim the party’s nomination Thursday night.
Trump’s extraordinary comments raised the specter of whether he was condoning foreign government hacking of U.S. computers and the public release of information stolen from political adversaries – actions that are at least publicly frowned upon across the globe.
“I will tell you this. Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” Trump said. He was referring to emails on Clinton’s private email server that she deleted because she said they were private before she turned other messages over to the State Department. The FBI declined to prosecute Clinton over her email practices but its director said she had been “extremely careless” handling classified materials.
The Clinton campaign called Trump’s statement the “first time that a major presidential candidate has actively encouraged a foreign power to conduct espionage against a political opponent.”
At a press conference in Doral, Florida, after Trump’s initial remarks, he 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.”
He later added: “If Russia or China …