Trump calls for Russia to find Clinton’s missing email
DORAL, Fla. -- In a surprising call for a foreign power to use its hacking abilities to get involved in the U.S. presidential election, Donald Trump on Wednesday called on Russia to find Hillary Clinton's missing emails from the time she was secr...
DORAL, Fla. - In a surprising call for a foreign power to use its hacking abilities to get involved in the U.S. presidential election, Donald Trump on Wednesday called on Russia to find Hillary Clinton’s missing emails from the time she was secretary of state.
“Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” Trump said to a room of TV cameras at Trump National Doral. “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”
Trump also deflected accusations from the Clinton campaign that Russia hacked into the Democratic National Committee emails, which were made public on Friday, to help the Republican nominee.
“It’s just a total deflection this whole thing with Russia … . By the way they hacked, they probably have her 33,000 emails. I hope they do. They probably have her 33,000 emails that she lost and deleted because you’d see some beauties there. So let’s see.”
The Clinton campaign was quick to respond. Said adviser 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.”
Trump spoke briefly and then took questions for nearly an hour on a long list of topics including Russia, his positions on immigration, trade and Israel. But the most provocative portions related to Russia, Clinton and former Democratic Party chair U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, who stepped down from her post Sunday.
Referring to questions about whether he could have been the hacker, Trump said: “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.”
Trump attacked Clinton and the Democratic leadership at the news conference.
“It’s been 235 days since crooked Hillary Clinton has had a press conference,” he said.
He also bashed Wasserman Schultz, who stepped down Sunday. Trump said she stacked the deck against Bernie Sanders.
“She totally rigged it,” he said.
Trump spoke briefly and then took several questions for more than 30 minutes from the national press about a long list of topics including Russia, his tax returns, immigration, the minimum wage, trade, paying for college and his running mate Indiana Gov. Mike Pence.
Trump said that in the next few weeks he will release plans related to immigration and said that his poll numbers showed increased Hispanic support.
“I’ve been doing very well with the Hispanic community,” he said.
Trump continued bashing Clinton and linking her to Wasserman Schultz, who stepped down after thousands of DNC emails showed the party favored Clinton over Sanders.
“It was about the things that were said in those e-mails. They were terrible things. Talking about Jewish. Talking about race … .It was Debbie Wasserman Schultz and believe me as sure as you’re sitting there Hillary Clinton knew about it … . Debbie Wasserman Schultz couldn’t breathe without speaking and getting approval from Clinton … . It was a rigged race. It was totally rigged.”
Trump faced a few questions related to the deaths of black men at the hands of police including in Louisiana and Minnesota. Trump defended law enforcement.
“If the police do 100,000 great jobs and they have one either rogue police man or a cop was poorly trained or did a bad job you see that incident on television for weeks,” Trump said. “You don’t see the good work they do. You see one mistake they make out of 100,000 it’s on television night after night after night.”
Trump faced several questions about whether he has ties to Russia - which he denied - and his relationship with Vladimir Putin.
“I never met Putin,” he said. “I don’t know who Putin is. He said one nice thing to me. He said I was a genius. I said. ‘Thank you very much.’”
Trump bashed President Barack Obama as “the most ignorant president in our history” and accused the press of siding with Clinton.
When a female reporter asked Trump whether he was encouraging Russia to hack into emails, Trump snapped back: “Be quiet. I know you want to save her,” a reference to Clinton.
When asked about the algae problem in South Florida, Trump said:
Algae: “It’s very sad. It’s not just Palm Beach, it’s all over. I’m looking at it. I actually want to find out what causes it. It’s a problem in many areas.”
The briefing was open to the media but not the public and one of a few events Trump held in South Florida the past 24 hours including a fundraising dinner where he served, of course, Trump steaks and a small group meeting with a few Hispanic leaders.
Trump spoke at the Trump National Doral golf resort which he acquired in 2012. It’s the biggest revenue-generating property in his portfolio, according to his financial disclosure reports. He has yet to release his tax returns.
Trump held a fundraiser Tuesday evening at his resort.
His visit to South Florida during the Democratic National Convention shows the importance of the swing state in the general election. Clinton appeared for the first time with her running mate, Sen. Tim Kaine, on Saturday at Florida International University. Both candidates are expected to repeatedly appear in Florida before the Nov. 8 election.
Trump has run a nontraditional campaign in Florida but it has paid off so far. While Clinton has spent millions of dollars on TV web ads in Florida, Trump hasn’t advertised on TV at all. But despite that, Trump is holding his own in Florida where a Real Clear Politics average of the polls before the conventions showed a deadheat in Florida.
During the March 15 primary, Miami-Dade was the only county Trump lost - the county voted for the hometown candidate, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio.
Miami-Dade is the county with the largest number of Hispanic voters in Florida. Trump has alienated some Hispanics with his comments about a judge of Mexican descent handing his Trump University case and his plans to build a wall at the Mexican border and claims about Mexicans being rapists.
Trump has tried to make nice with Hispanic leaders in Florida. His schedule originally showed him holding a Hispanic roundtable Tuesday, but that event was scrapped by Monday. At the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Hispanic surrogates such as state Rep. Carlos Trujillo Miami spoke on behalf of Trump and his running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence.
Recent Univisión and Telemundo polls show little Latino support for Trump. Eleven percent of Hispanic voters hold a favorable view of Trump, according to the Telemundo/NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.
On Tuesday night, Trump and a few members of his staff met with about 10 South Florida Hispanic, religious and civic leaders at the Doral golf resort. Trump spoke for a few minutes about his campaign and a range of issues and then listened to the participants in the group.
Trujillo said that participants asked Trump to expand on if he is able to secure the border then what happens to the 11 million undocumented immigrants already here.
“One thing all Hispanics want to see is immigration reform,” Trujillo said. “He is still forming the solution.”
Trujillo described the meeting with Trump as more of a listening session and not a speech.
He said the general tenor was “how can we work together to accomplish goals?”
Lorenzo Palomares-Starbuck, an early Miami-Dade supporter of Trump and a Miami lawyer, said they talked about several issues of high importance to Florida hispanics.
“We talked about the issues of Cuba, Miami as a gateway to Latin America and commerce, the Cuban Adjustment Act and how we felt about it,” he said. “We discussed activities we need to do to bring more Hispanic in to support Trump including Puerto Ricans in Orlando.”