Dems cry 'treason' as Trump upstages Clinton at DNC
You've got to hand it to Donald Trump. He is, in the words of Mollie Hemingway (citing a Rush Limbaugh catchphrase), "living rent free inside the DNC's head." He has completely, totally upstaged Hillary Clinton by sarcastically asking the Russians to hack her email system to recover the 30,000 deleted documents.
The reaction to his suggestion was swift – and idiotic.
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, with one saying it was "tantamount to treason."
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.
So Clinton's emails are, in fact, a matter of "national security"? That's not what Democrats have been saying about them.
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.”
All of this sturm und drang about Trump and Russia is meant to obscure the truth: that Democrats can blame Putin and Russia all they want, but the fact is, they wrote what was in the emails. This, of course, is the crux of the matter. The rest is fluff churned up to distract from the corruption and cronyism revealed in the emails.
I don't know if Trump anticipated the hysteria his comment about Russia hacking Clinton would generate. But it's clear that it was a deliberate gambit to insert himself into the news cycle in order to do what he does best: make himself the story.
“They have no idea if it’s Russia, if it’s China, if it’s somebody else,” the GOP nominee said in an interview aired Thursday on "Fox and Friends." "Who knows it is?”
Trump said Democrats are trying to distract voters from a trove of Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails leaked last week.
“The real problem is what was said on those emails from the Democratic National Committee,” he told host Brian Kilmeade. "They talk about religion, they talk about race, they talk about all sorts of things, including women.
“What they said on those emails is a disgrace. It’s disgraceful, it’s disgraceful. They’re just trying to deflect from that.”
Trump on Wednesday said he wished Russian hackers find tens of thousands of emails deleted from Clinton’s server.
“If they hacked, they probably have her 33,000 emails,” he said during a press conference at his Miami-area hotel. "I hope they do.
“Russia, if you are listening, I hope you are able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by the press.”
Trump's problem is, will the voters take the Democrats' charges to heart, or will they recognize that Trump was being facetious? For those predisposed to hate Trump, the charges will resonate. Otherwise, the incident is not likely to change minds.