Dear Commons Community,
Yesterday, Donald Trump’s call on Russia to hack Hillary Clinton’s emails has shocked, flabbergasted and appalled lawmakers and national security experts across the political spectrum.
To quote The Donald:
“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.”
Few would argue Wednesday that what the Republican presidential nominee said will directly cause Russia to conduct more cyber-espionage against the U.S. than it already is doing. But several described Trump’s statements as dangerous for America’s global standing. Some echoed the Clinton campaign in calling the comments a threat to national security.
As reported by Politico:
“It’s just one more example of the reckless and dangerous comments that Donald Trump makes that compromises American foreign policy objectives,” said Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Leon Panetta, a former CIA director, told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour that Trump’s comments were “beyond the pale” because he was “in fact asking the Russians to engage in American politics.” Later during a panel at the University of Pennsylvania, Panetta ramped up his rebuke, calling Trump’s remarks a “threat to our national security.”
An aide to House Speaker Paul Ryan, the Wisconsin Republican who has endorsed Trump, added, meanwhile, that “Russia is a global menace led by a devious thug” and that it should stay out of the U.S. election.
“The United States should not tolerate Russian meddling in November’s election,” said House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.). “Period.”
A New York Times editorial this morning commented that:
“Mr. Trump’s friendly come-on to the Russians came the morning after American intelligence agencies told the White House they had “high confidence” that Russian intelligence was behind the hacked D.N.C. computers, leading to the release of nearly 20,000 emails that showed favoritism toward Mrs. Clinton over Senator Bernie Sanders. The United States is actively trying to discourage hacking, which is a criminal act, and get countries like China to adhere to norms for operating in cyberspace.
What Mr. Trump should have done was to warn President Vladimir Putin of Russia that if he interfered in the election, American political leaders would be united in imposing consequences of some kind on his nation, as the Republican candidate’s vice-presidential running mate, Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana, has suggested.”
It is another example of Donald Trump’s recklessness and his tendency to divide rather than to unify.