Donald Trump Invites Russia To Commit Espionage To Help His Presidential Campaign

Donald Trump suggests Russia engage in espionage to help his Presidential campaign.0

Donald Trump Shrug

At a news conference today, Donald Trump essentially called on Russia to commit espionage to help his Presidential campaign, although his campaign moved fairly quickly after he spoke to try to backtrack from his initial comments:

DORAL, Fla. — Donald J. Trump said Wednesday that he hoped Russia had hacked Hillary Clinton’s email, essentially encouraging an adversarial foreign power to cyberspy on a secretary of state’s correspondence.

“Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” Mr. Trump said, staring directly into the cameras during a news conference. “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”

Mr. Trump’s call was an extraordinary moment at a time when Russia is being accused of meddling in the United States’ presidential election. His comments came amid questions about the hacking of the Democratic National Committee’s computer servers, which American intelligence agencies have told the White House they have “high confidence” was the work of the Russian government.

Later in the news conference, when asked if he was really urging a foreign nation to hack into the private email server of Mrs. Clinton, or at least interfere in the nation’s elections, he dismissed the question. “That’s up to the president,” Mr. Trump said, before finally saying “be quiet” to the female questioner. “Let the president talk to them.”

The Clinton campaign immediately accused Mr. Trump of both encouraging Russian espionage against the United States and meddling in domestic politics.

“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,” said Jake Sullivan, Mrs. Clinton’s chief foreign policy adviser. “This has gone from being a matter of curiosity, and a matter of politics, to being a national security issue.”

And a spokesman for Speaker Paul D. Ryan, a Republican, responded to Mr. Trump’s remarks by criticizing Russia’s behavior.

“Russia is a global menace led by a devious thug,” said Brendan Buck, the spokesman. “Putin should stay out of this election.”

Mr. Trump has largely dismissed assertions that Russia was behind the Democratic committee breach as conspiracy theories — a view he reiterated again when he said the hack was “probably not Russia.”

But at one of his Florida golf courses, as the third day of theDemocratic National Convention was set to begin in Philadelphia, the Republican presidential nominee refused to unequivocally call on Vladimir V. Putin, Russia’s president, to stay out of the election.

“I’m not going to tell Putin what to do,” Mr. Trump said. “Why should I tell Putin what to do?”

He added that if Russia, or any foreign government, was, in fact, behind the hack, it simply showed just how little respect other nations have for the current administration.

“President Trump would be so much better for U.S.-Russian relations” than a President Clinton, Mr. Trump said. “I don’t think he respects Clinton.”

In a series of Twitter messages, Jason Miller, a campaign spokesman, tried to clarify Mr. Trump’s comments.

“To be clear, Mr. Trump did not call on, or invite, Russia or anyone else to hack Hillary Clinton’s emails today,” Mr. Miller wrote.

In a Twitter post of his own, Mr. Trump added: “If Russia or any other country or person has Hillary Clinton’s 33,000 illegally deleted emails, perhaps they should share them with the FBI!

While Trump’s campaign is trying to say otherwise, it seems fairly clear that he is asking a foreign power to commit cyber espionage, which itself is potentially an act of war and at the very least not the act of a friendly nation, in order to help his campaign. There is no other way to parse what Trump said in his initial comments, and the follow-on efforts of his campaign to change the subject would seem to make it clear that they realize that he made a mistake. On some level, I tend to think that this is another example of Trump playing with the media and with his opponents by making outrageous comments without regard to the consequences, but given his past comments about Vladimir Putin, in which he sometimes seems to be virtually begging for the Russian dictator to see him as a potential friend, one does have to wonder about Trump and his odd obsession with impressing Putin. There have been some suggestions that the reason for this is rooted in the fact that at least some of the financing for recent Trump real estate ventures has come from Russian banks and oligarchs, but there’s been no proof of that claim and it’s not clear how one would go about proving or disproving such a claim to begin with since it’s likely to be hidden somewhere deep within the financing arrangements for the projects themselves, which is not something that would be included in Trump’s personal tax forms even if he did make them public. In any case, the fact that Trump seems eager to please Putin is quite odd, and perhaps something that enterprising investigative reporters ought to be pursuing.

Given Donald Trump’s long history of controversial statements just during the course of his Presidential campaign, it’s almost come to the point where it’s difficult to get worked up about yet another such comment on his part. This is especially true when the media uses the comment as yet another opportunity to bring up the question of whether or not Trump has ‘gone too far’ this time and whether he will end up paying a price for his comments in the polls. As we know from the race for the Republican nomination, there really doesn’t seem to be anything that Trump can say that will get him in trouble with his supporters. The answer to that question is, quite obviously, an emphatic no. Whether it’s been disparaging comments about Mexicans and Muslims, mocking disabled people, attacking women like Megyn Kelly and Carly Fiorina in the most crass and demeaning manner, encouraging his supporters to engage in violenceagainst supporters, or demonstrating utter disdain for the Rule of Law and Freedom of the Press, virtually nothing that Trump has said that has been seemingly outrageous or controversial has done much to diminish his rising star, and it seems unlikely that this will be the straw that breaks the camel’s back, at least among the Trump true believers. What impact it will have with the rest of the electorate is something we’ll have to wait until we get more polling to try to figure out.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2016, Donald Trump, Politicians, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Jeremy R says:

    Related to this, if we look back less than 2 yrs ago:

    https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/508194635270062080

    Attention all hackers: You are hacking everything else so please hack Obama’s college records (destroyed?) and check “place of birth”

  2. Pch101 says:

    I can only imagine what the GOP reaction would have been if a Democrat had claimed 9/11 was “a total sign of disrespect” for Bush.

  3. Scott F. says:

    Doug –

    You may want to save “his campaign moved fairly quickly after he spoke to try to backtrack from his initial comments” as a macro. You’re undoubtedly going to need to type that phrase many, many times between now and November.

  4. Moosebreath says:

    Yep, it’s just another wacky statement made by Trump. He doesn’t mean it. Nice try at sweeping this under the rug, Doug.

    For more serious reactions from members of both parties,this is a good roundup:

    “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.”

    (snip)

    And William Inboden, who served on the NSC during the George W. Bush administration, said Trump’s comments were “tantamount to treason.”

    “Trump’s appeal for a foreign government hostile to the United States to manipulate our electoral process is not an assault on Hillary Clinton, it is an assault on the Constitution,” said Inboden, who now teaches at the University of Texas at Austin.”

  5. @Moosebreath:

    I’m not sweeping anything under any rugs, merely pointing out the sad reality that virtually nothing this guy says seems to be able to bring down his campaign. Believe me I know it’s frustrating since I’ve been trying to point out the truth about this guy since last June but you can’t deny that nothing he has said has seemed to harm him in the polls.

    Maybe this time will be different, who knows. But if past is prologue it won’t.

  6. Jil Jameson says:

    This is America. The law is still that you can say, and have an opinion, about anything. Just because it doesn’t agree with your political convictions, doesn’t make thinking or saying anything illegal. DOING something against the law DOES have consequences, under the law (or, at least is supposed to).

    Now, if we want to talk about DOING things against the law, we need look no further than the DNC presidential candidate. Basically, the government’s own detective agency said plainly that Clinton broke the law on several different charges, but hey, she didn’t mean it, she’s generally incompetent, so we are going to recommend giving her a pass. The left wants to make a big deal of Trump’s WORDS, and completely overlook Clinton’s ACTIONS.

    Trump’s “heinous” transgressions are still protected by law, whereas Clinton’s transgressions are condemned by law. But again, the law was plainly, flippantly, OVERTLY, subverted, directly to the face of the American public, for Clinton. And the left wonders why the MAJORITY (yes, the majority, regardless of what your fake news polls say) is fed up with the left’s progressive (socialistic) agenda, the RINOS, and the elected officials that went to Washington and then somehow got an attitude that they are the privileged class, and everyone else is, well, just isn’t privilege at all. In fairness and reasonableness, I agree that Trump is not a wonderful candidate for president, but thanks to Hillary setting the bar so low, her opponent can stub their toe on it all day long, everyday, without ever damaging their popularity.

  7. Moosebreath says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    “I’m not sweeping anything under any rugs, merely pointing out the sad reality that virtually nothing this guy says seems to be able to bring down his campaign.”

    No, you are focusing on the wrong thing. Yes, it affects his campaign, but that is small peanuts to the fact that Trump is asking a foreign government to help select who our next President will be. As I said earlier today, this is borderline treason.

  8. @Moosebreath:

    I think I made clear that I find is comments outrageous, but in the end my opinion isn’t what matters. The question is what, if any, impact this will have on the race. I mean, we can keep cataloging outrageous things Donald Trump says and end up with a multi-volume encyclopedia of outrage. In the end, the relevant quetsion is what the voter think about all of it.

  9. MarkedMan says:

    Trump is proving an interesting, albeit terribly frightening, test case for Republicans. Just how far are they willing to go to put party over country? Anyone who is not actively speaking against him is doing exactly that.

  10. Stan says:

    @Jil Jameson: Contrary to your view of public opinion, the internet tells me that 75% of the public favors an increase in the minimum wage, 50% favors including a public option in the Affordable Care Act, and 55% support gay marriage. You’re a living, breathing example of the Dunning-Kroger effect, the tendency of people who know bupkis about some issue to have excessively firm opinions about it. I can’t argue with you about the morality of public laws. You may feel that the Affordable Care act is a socialist abomination while I feel that it’s a modest step in the right direction, and who’s to say that my concern for social justice trumps yours for economic liberty? But try to get your facts straight the next time you feel like mouthing off.

  11. Mikey says:

    Trump explicitly invited agents of a foreign power to conduct espionage operations against an American Presidential candidate, with the specific purpose of influencing the outcome of an American Presidential election. What’s the next step along that path? “Russia please hack me some voting machines?”

    He’s not just the worst major-party Presidential candidate in American history because of his utter unpreparedness and awful temperament, he’s also the worst because he is so damned bad for American politics in general. Almost every day he violates some well-tested norm of Presidential campaign politics. He’s changing things, and always dramatically for the worse.

  12. gVOR08 says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Believe me I know it’s frustrating since I’ve been trying to point out the truth about this guy since last June but you can’t deny that nothing he has said has seemed to harm him in the polls.

    Too true. I didn’t watch the press conference, listening to Trump gives me a headache. But from what I read about it, the MSM is missing the real story, which was the general incoherence of the whole thing. They can point out the invitation to Russia to commit cyber crimes, even though it seemed a little less than serious. They can point out that, contra Trump, Tim Kaine has never been governor of New Jersey. But to mention that one of our major party nominees is nuts would require a value judgement, which is a bridge too far for our supposedly liberal MSM.

    I think John Cole has a good take on it.

    I don’t know what the fuck I just watched. I honestly don’t. There was so much bullshit and so many lies I don’t even know where to start.

    And it gets better from there.

  13. Moosebreath says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    I am astonished that a lawyer can fail to understand the difference between making an outrageous statement and requesting that a crime be committed, but there you are.

  14. anjin-san says:

    @Jil Jameson:

    whereas Clinton’s transgressions are condemned by law.

    Really? What law did she break? Please be specific – cite code…

  15. KM says:

    @Jil Jameson :

    And the left wonders why the MAJORITY (yes, the majority, regardless of what your fake news polls say)

    So how do you know what the majority believes then if you don’t ask them? Is it just news polls that you don’t agree with that are “fake” or are you one of those arrogant sods who think their opinion must be everyones?

  16. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Jil Jameson:

    And the left wonders why the MAJORITY (yes, the majority, regardless of what your fake news polls say)

    Are we at the unskewed stage already? Well, I guess that wraps up that election.

  17. Pch101 says:

    @Moosebreath:

    that is small peanuts to the fact that Trump is asking a foreign government to help select who our next President will be. As I said earlier today, this is borderline treason.

    Not only has Trump encouraged the Russians to commit a crime, but he’s hinting that it could include quid pro quo, suggesting that he would end the sanctions imposed on Russia and recognize Crimea as Russian territory if he was president.

    These are remarkable times that we live in…

  18. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Doug, you need to understand a little thing called “reality.”

    Hillary’s server in question was wiped clean and turned over to the FBI a couple of years ago. The FBI then isolated it, totally disconnecting it from the internet. The only way it could be “hacked” today would be for the Russians to physically break into whever the FBI has the server and physically access it.

    What Trump was saying that he believes that the Russians have full copies of everything on that server, and he wants them to release it. This is a brilliant move on several levels.

    1) It makes people ask which is preferable: for only Russia to know what was in Hillary’s emails, or for all Americans to know as well? As long as Russia holds it secret, then they can potentially blackmail Hillary with its release. If they release it, then she can’t be blackmailed.

    2) Hillary has insisted, all along, that there was nothing sensitive on that server. Now her people are insisting that if Russia were to release it, it would be terrible. She can’t have it both ways.

    3) Russia has already intervened in our elections, by taking down DWS and shaking up the DNC. (This was precedented by Obama bypassing any controls to prevent foreign donations in 2008, as well as their attempt to sway the elections in Israel. So it’s a little late to whine about foreigners meddling in our elections.

    So, folks, which is it? Was there nothing at all sensitive in Hillary’s emails, or would their release by a huge blow to national security? And would it be better for the US if Russia were to sit on Hillary’s papers, or release them to the public? And haven’t we kind of sacrificed the whole “don’t mess with other country’s elections” virginity pretty thoroughly in the past few years? Especially by the Democrats?

  19. MBunge says:

    Oh for pete’s sake. The suggestion that Trump was seriously requesting a foreign power commit espionage against the United State is infantile. He was just shooting his mouth off and trying to tweak Hillary Clinton about her email issues. Was it irresponsible? Reckless? The sign of someone who didn’t understand exactly what he was saying? Sure. But the idea that he was actually making a legitimate request of Russia is asinine and the attempt to characterize Trump as some sort of Russian double-agent under Putin’s command is worst than that.

    Mike

  20. Loviatar says:

    @Mikey:

    Almost every day he violates some well-tested norm of Presidential campaign politics. He’s changing things, and always dramatically for the worse.

    I have to slightly disagree.

    The Republican party blew past political norms with the Clinton impeachment. He is not testing political norms, he is testing societal norms.

    For society to work we must all come to the agreement that certain things are unacceptable in polite society. Certain members of our financial, political and media elite have determined that they can flaunt accepted societal norms. They’ve also noticed that they won’t be called on their transgressions as most people want to be considered polite and well mannered.

    Pointing out that someone is a traitorous ass clown is considered impolite, pointing out that someone has made their fortune by scamming the elderly and the poor is considered ill mannered. Until recently, pointing out that their was a whole right-wing conspiracy dedicated to illegitimating and demagoguing their opposition with lies and half-truths was just not done.

    Trump was a question for the Republican party, do they return to the pre-Gingrich societal norms or do they continue down the path to anarchy. Unfortunately we have our answer.

    The same question will be placed before the country on Nov. 8th.

  21. Bob@Youngstown says:

    @MBunge: ok Mike,
    Trump is reckless
    Trump is irresponsible
    Trump doesn’t understand what he is saying

    Got it

  22. James Pearce says:

    @MBunge:

    But the idea that he was actually making a legitimate request of Russia is asinine and the attempt to characterize Trump as some sort of Russian double-agent under Putin’s command is worst than that.

    This is not the kind of think to shoot your mouth off about. The Russians will take it as a legitimate request, regardless of what Trump thinks he’s doing.

  23. Hal_10000 says:

    I have to agree with Mike. Trump’s comments were inappropriate and made light of a very serious situation: a foreign power trying to influence our elections. But calling it “treason” is a stretch. I watched the press conference after I heard about it and it seemed more like a flip remark or a bad attempt at a joke than a serious invitation to espionage. It’s not the sort of thing any politician should be saying, but I’d hesitate to say “treason”.

    That having been said, the incident exposes a lot of hypocrisy in American politics. In 1992, we found out that Ted Kennedy communicated with Yuri Andropov about undermining Reagan’s foreign policy and vaulting Ted into office in ’88. Conservatives rightly denounced it. Liberals shamefully remained silent. Now the roles are reversed. Condemn both or condemn neither.

  24. Just Another Ex-Republican says:

    I thought his comment about releasing the emails was mostly a stupid joke. Far more frightening and concerning were the remarks about the Crimea and sanctions–actions with serious policy consequences and a continuation of his virtual invitation to Putin to invade the former Warsaw Pact countries. And like sheep, everyone from the Clinton campaign to CNN to OTB immediately jumped on…the stupid comment, mostly letting his policy go unchallenged. I know, I know, I’m an arrogant SOB, but sometimes I feel like screaming at my the rest of my country that in the end, we get the politicians we deserve. And if we keep paying attention to things that don’t really matter, we have no one to blame but ourselves if we elect an authoritarian ass who aims to emulate and appease other authoritarian leaders.

  25. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Bob@Youngstown: Trump is reckless
    Trump is irresponsible
    Trump doesn’t understand what he is saying

    Just like Hillary and email security:

    Hillary is reckless.
    Hillary is irresponsible.
    Hillary doesn’t understand what she is doing.

  26. Hal_10000 says:

    ar more frightening and concerning were the remarks about the Crimea and sanctions

    Ding!

  27. gVOR08 says:

    Since it’s in moderation, let me repeat something from a comment that’s not above. It’s not the, perhaps unserious, suggestion that Russia commit cyber-crimes and meddle in our election. It’s not really about Trump thinking Tim Kaine was Gov of New Jersey, It’s not even about his policy statements on Crimea and NATO. It’s about his incoherent babbling and what it says about his competence, even his sanity.

  28. Monala says:

    @Hal_10000: I do condemn both… or I would if I knew more about the Kennedy incident you describe. (Got any links?) I just have never heard about it. Now I was in college and not very politically aware at that time, but that seems like a big deal. I recall Jesse Jackson getting a lot of flack in ’84 I think, for going to Cuba and interfering with our foreign policy there.

  29. Bob@Youngstown says:

    @Jenos Idanian: click off, as usual

  30. Hal_10000 says:
  31. edmondo says:

    Maybe Trump can get Goldman Sachs to release the tapes of Hillary’s speeches too.

  32. Grewgills says:

    Jenos, you really will defend absolutely anything as long as the ‘right’ person says it, won’t you? Have you no shame?

  33. Bob@Youngstown says:

    @gVOR08:

    It’s about his incoherent babbling and what it says about his competence, even his sanity.

    Well said !

  34. Paul L. says:

    I’ve been trying to point out the truth about this guy

    Doug said the same about Republican Presidential nominees and Sara Palin in 2004/2008 /2012
    Nice to see Doug parrot the Democrat outrage machine.

    Democrats seem awfully concerned that Russia might release 30,000 e-mails about nothing more than wedding planning/Hillary’s yoga routines.

  35. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Hey Jenos, are you enjoying the vast dumpster fire? Oh wait…

  36. Moosebreath says:

    @Monala:

    Can’t say I have heard this story before today, either, but Kennedy’s conduct was shameful, and I think a whole lot less of him for it.

  37. Monala says:

    @Moosebreath: I agree.

  38. Mikey says:

    @MBunge: Whether he was entirely serious or not is irrelevant. He’s the Presidential nominee and therefore de facto leader of one of America’s two major parties, and as such his words carry significant weight. One must consider not only the spirit in which they were delivered, but also how they will be received, not just in America but worldwide.

    The best one can say about this is he was just short of criminally irresponsible, a standard the Republicans have used to crucify Mrs. Clinton but which they hypocritically refuse to apply to Donald Trump.

  39. Rafer Janders says:

    Given Donald Trump’s long history of controversial statements just during the course of his Presidential campaign, it’s almost come to the point where it’s difficult to get worked up about yet another such comment on his part.

    No, it’s not.

  40. JKB says:

    it seems fairly clear that he is asking a foreign power to commit cyber espionage, which itself is potentially an act of war and at the very least not the act of a friendly nation, in order to help his campaign.

    That’s some pretty poor lawyering there. There was no request for a foreign power to commit cyber espionage. There was a vague ask that Russia might find emails already declared not on US government computers and “missing”.

    Or is it your contention that the emails are sitting on some US government computer? Perhaps the NSA has them? That they are in the former Sec of State’s possession?

    The request might be a request for a foreign government to seek to recover the “missing” emails from some private actor within their jurisdiction.

  41. John says:

    Since when are 30,000 personal emails regarding yoga pants a national security issue?

    We all know Russia already has her emails. It’s just a matter of releasing them.

    And what’s worse? A candidate making a snide comment about Hillary’s bogus email server stories, or a secretary of state who invited espionage by running an insecure server in the bathroom?

  42. Pch101 says:

    Given his apparent desire to romance Putin, the title of Trump’s next book could be The Art of Copying Neville Chamberlain.

  43. Bob@Youngstown says:

    @JKB:

    The request might be a request for a foreign government to seek to recover the “missing” emails from some private actor within their jurisdiction.

    Oh please. What does Russia have to gain to be acting as a fence for stolen documents?

  44. JKB says:

    @Bob@Youngstown:

    Fence?

    Those who might have collected Hillary’s emails, those now missing, could very well be private actors in Russian territory where Russian law enforcement have jurisdiction.

    But Russia may have no incentive to respond to this joking request for help with finding the missing emails.

  45. Pch101 says:

    It’s funny how all of the law-and-order rule-of-law types in the comments don’t give a shiite about crime when it suits them. (Last I checked, it wasn’t legal to hack and steal files.)

    They apparently don’t mind sucking up to the old Soviet regime, either. So much for all of that freedom-this, better-dead-than-red tough talk.

  46. Robert C says:

    Funny, none of these Republicans minded Netanyahu influencing our election in 2012.

  47. Lit3Bolt says:

    Putin before country, eh Republicans and BernieBros?

    Is your Hillary Clinton Derangement Syndrome that bad? That you’re willing to cozy up to Russia? Do you really need a “Daddy” that much?

  48. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Jenos Idanian: Hold on tight to your dreams, dude. It’s mathematically/statistically possible for the wish hand to fill first, the impossibility is only logistical.

  49. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Hal_10000: You are correct: “treason” is the wrong term, the term people are looking for is “sedition.”

  50. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Hal_10000: That also seems seditious. I feel sad that our political system had deteriorated so seriously at such an early time in my lifetime. Maybe what we are seeing now is just the continued deterioration. We need better people in office and citizens electing them than we have apparently.

  51. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @John: We all knew that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, too.

  52. flat earth luddite says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker: With the current tone of the campaign, I can hardly wait for the cage match debates. Maybe moderated by Vince McMahon of WWE?

  53. michael reynolds says:

    So, here’s where we are.

    1) A bunch of die-hard Evangelicals who never think anyone is quite Christian enough, suddenly back Trump who is actually less Christian than most atheists. Why?

    2) A bunch of people who solemnly profess their abhorrence of dishonesty (She said it was about a video and it wasn’t, waaaah! Benghazi!) suddenly embrace the man who is clearly the biggest liar in the history of American politics. Why?

    3) A bunch of people who love to go all square-jawed and tough-talkin’ on foreign policy embrace a man who has pre-emptively surrendered NATO and is clearly in bed with the Russian Thug-in-Chief. Why?

    4) A bunch of working class white men who are disappointed at their job prospects embrace a notorious fraud who has left a long, long trail of ripping off people just like them. Why?

    Answers: Race and sex. Support for Trump is racism and sexism. Cover it up however you like, it comes down to the fact that there is not a single logical, defensible answer that does not ultimately come back to white people’s racism and men’s sexism.

  54. Nikki says:

    Michael Reynolds is right. The Republicans chose Trump because he gave them leave to be as out and proud with their hatred as they wanna be. To the Republican Party, not Putin, not Russia….absolutely nothing is more important than ending societal civility, political correctness and displays of respect to one’s fellow countrymen.

  55. He’s not asking Russia to hack her server, for goodness sake. The server is already dismantled. He was asking Russia to release the emails that they probably already hacked years ago. Meaning matters.

    Besides, if they are just about yoga and weddings, as Hillary has maintained, then how does this violate national security?

  56. Pete S says:

    @William Teach: There are only two options here. Either Trump is saying the Russians already hacked in and got them, along with the hack of the DNC, and he is okay with it as long as they try to help him win an election. Or he thinks they don’t have them, in which case he is inviting them to go hacking anywhere the emails may be even if that is somewhere in the US. There is no third option and these are both outrageous no matter what his walking back team says ( I hope they got their money upfront, that is a full time job).

    And I is Trump and his party who have been saying how important these emails are because they are obviously all top secret. I haven’t heard any of them walk back that belief yet so Trump is sending the Russians after information he says he believes to be top secret. That is why this is important.

  57. @Moosebreath:

    I get what you’re saying, but I’m not sure what you would have me do that I haven’t been doing since June 16th. For better or worse, the election is not in my hands.

  58. Loviatar says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Answers: Race and sex. Support for Trump is racism and sexism. Cover it up however you like, it comes down to the fact that there is not a single logical, defensible answer that does not ultimately come back to white people’s racism and men’s sexism.

    Totally and Absolutely correct. I however will take it one step further, because thats what I do.

    First we called them Dixiecrats, then the silent majority, then Reagan Democrats, then real Americans, now they’re working class whites. They’ve been with us since 1964 and everytime they see another minority class of American’s achieve the equality they feel is their by birthright of being white and male they scream and throw a tantrum (James Pearce).

    Its almost time to stop pandering to their tantrums, soon they will be one minority group among many, I hope it happens in lifetime.

  59. CSK says:

    Trump himself probably said it best: “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters.”

    It doesn’t matter what he says or does: the Trumpkins would find a way to rationalize it, or, if that’s not possible, simply deny it happened. Whether that translate to the general electorate, I don’t know. A year ago I never thought Trump would get this far.

  60. KM says:

    @MBunge:

    The suggestion that Trump was seriously requesting a foreign power commit espionage against the United State is infantile. He was just shooting his mouth off and trying to tweak Hillary Clinton about her email issues.

    Ah, the “It was a joke!” defense. Great way to make any doubting Republicans realize you’re Super Serious is to crack “jokes” like this at Russia, amirite? Funny how that one gets trotted out every time they’re aware they’ve stepped in it…..

    The thing about those kinds of “tweaks” is some people take it seriously. Let’s look at this from a marketing perspective since that’s supposed to be Trump’s strength: a vast swath of the country took his words in the wrong way, as either condoning or inciting criminal espionage against a former SOS-now-candidate. What in the world makes him think others outside the country wouldn’t as well? What makes him think, having made a “joking” proposal, that some foreign power might take him up on it and thus make him guilty in the eyes of the law? Finally, does this joker realize even if Russia did what he asked, it would be the ultimate Fruit of the Poisonous Tree. By some wild means, should he be right and there’s actionable material there, he’s screwed himself, FBI and the DOJ for any future prosecution. If its run of the mill stuff, it’s still encouragement of sharing ill-gotten gains hacked from a high-level government official. It’s sanctioning the behavior and can be taken as tacit acceptance to do it again against the speakers’ political rivals….. and everybody else since they’re not just going to stop once they’re in.

    Trump made an offer on camera at an official function to a hostile power for a seditious act. The “he was kidding GOD!” snark misses the point that someone will take his “joke” up as legitimate and then what? It’s put him in a legal grey area in a time when his security briefings are starting.

  61. grumpy realist says:

    Now Trump is saying that he was “just being sarcastic.”

    Great. So we have a candidate who says things that the rest of the world either a) has to jump at/worry about because it’s a crazy deviation from Business as Usual, or b) totally ignore because, well, Trump.

    What this probably means is that Trump will quickly find himself supplanted by a “shadow government” who will be the ones the rest of the world will go to to figure out what to listen to and what to ignore. They will be unelected, will probably contradict each other, and in the end the rest of the world will end up insulating itself against working with the US because they won’t be able to tell what we’re going to do.

    Governments and businesses HATE risk and indecision. Keep that in mind.

    Trump, rather than being a “leader of the US”, will be responsible for the collapse of the US on the world stage, all the while pounding his chest and telling everyone how Marvelous Putin is.

    Is there any wonder why Putin wants The Donald to be elected POTUS? He knows how easy The Donald is to manipulate….

  62. Mikey says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Is there any wonder why Putin wants The Donald to be elected POTUS? He knows how easy The Donald is to manipulate….

    Makes me wonder if Putin has some real dirt on Trump.

  63. CSK says:

    @Mikey:
    @grumpy realist:

    Oh, Putin probably really does have some dirt on Trump. But even if he didn’t, the point that Trump is very easily manipulated still stands.

    Grumpy and I could get ourselves made up and coiffed, slip into cocktail dresses and fwck-me shoes, slither up to him at a party, tell him what a genius he is (and what looooooong gorgeous fingers he has) and he’d pay our mortgages for us.

  64. Mister Bluster says:

    OT: GasBag Bill O’Reilly, Slavery Apologist

    “Slaves that worked there were well-fed and had decent lodgings provided by the government,
    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2016/07/27/bill-oreilly-michelle-obama-white-house-slaves-speech/87604632/

  65. KM says:

    @CSK :

    Grumpy and I could get ourselves made up and coiffed, slip into cocktail dresses and fwck-me shoes, slither up to him at a party, tell him what a genius he is (and what looooooong gorgeous fingers he has) and he’d pay our mortgages for us.

    Pfft. If I were to go to those lengths, I want my mortgage, a second house and a nice vacay. We could get our mortgages in just plain old jeans and ratty hoodies if we did the coy head tilt and “I always knew you’re were going to be President”. Cocktail dress means Mama wants to see Paris 🙂

  66. Andrew says:

    Petulant children (Trump voters) being led by a petulant child (Trump) that has never really had to answer for his failures. He can sit in a room of gold and marble, on a golden throne. All because he is a successful conman.

    It does not matter what Donald says, it does not. None of it really matters. It is all “Look at me, Look at me! Maaaaaa!!! Look at what I am doing!” (Of course ACTUALLY being POTUS it will matter, and this is why the rest of the world is wondering WTF is wrong with the U.S.)

    A whole bunch of people that do not want to grow up, and really do not have to. Conditioned and comfortable in blaming others for their failures, and pointing the finger at anyone else to justify their own short comings.

    This is the American Dream™ for the 21st century.

    The Party of Saint Ronald, who is “credited” with bringing down the U.S.S.R. 30 years ago, elects Donald the biggest fan of Russia this side of Moscow.

    Oooooh the irony!!

  67. anjin-san says:

    @MBunge:

    The suggestion that Trump was seriously requesting a foreign power commit espionage against the United State is infantile

    Really? Because some serious people in the national security field took it seriously. Do you really think that Michael Hayden & Leon Panetta are “infantile”, and that you are a sober judge of peoples intent?

  68. Gavrilo says:

    Look, what Donald Trump said may have been extremely careless, but there was clearly no intent to commit treason and no reasonable prosecutor would bring a case against him.

    So, this is a nothingburger.

  69. Loviatar says:

    @Andrew:

    Petulant children (Trump voters) being led by a petulant child (Trump) that has never really had to answer for his failures.

    Slightly disagree.

    These are not petulant children. These are angry nasty “children” who full well know what they’re doing. They are out to harm the “others” damm the consequences. See this comment thread for examples from the usual suspects.

  70. Andrew says:

    @Loviatar:

    Children is the key word here. How you or I describe them is just flair.

  71. Jen says:

    To everyone making apologies and excuses for his comment (he was “joking” he was “being sarcastic” there was “no intent to commit treason”), I have to ask, when do we get a grownup?

    That he shoots off his mouth daily and recklessly is no surprise. But taken in conjunction with his NATO/Baltics comment, his Crimea comment, and the Ukraine change in the GOP platform, and added to the fact that the DNC hack is looking very much like it came from Russia–what will it take for his supporters to acknowledge that something is rotten in the state of Denmark (aka Trump Tower)? There is something very odd about all of this, and that his supporters are willingly blind to it is utterly bizarre.

    This man is running for PRESIDENT. That every speech he gives is followed by 24 hours or more of clarifications, retractions, “I-didn’t-mean-thats”–this is not acceptable. It wouldn’t be acceptable for someone running for mayor of a small town, and it isn’t acceptable here.

  72. Pch101 says:

    Even if you accept that Trump was joking with his encouraging words about hacking, he managed to do this in a single press conference:

    -Blow off the illegality of the act by claiming that the contents of the material were more relevant than whether the law was violated

    -Claimed that he wanted to ally with Putin, and that he didn’t want to “tell him what to do”

    -Offered to negotiate with Putin over sanctions and Crimea/ Ukraine

    This guy is a clown. You don’t start offering up all of this cool stuff to an aggressive nation on the very same day that said nation has been accused of breaking into the servers of a major US political party, i.e. Watergate Soviet Edition, unless you want your opponent to think that you are a pushover.

    For all of the tough talk, that’s as wimpy as it gets. Responding to dominance with acts of contrition is sure to earn the contempt of a bully such as Putin.

    I’ve dealt with guys like this in the business world who piss on their friends as they kowtow to those who they believe are in a superior position, and that never goes well. You end up losing your friends as you get creamed by the bullies who disrespect you for being weak.

  73. CSK says:

    @Jen:

    Jen, nothing Trump says or does is going to dissuade Trump supporters. As for his vacillations, retractions, contradictions, lies: Hey, he’s just keeping the press off-balance! He’s playing them like a fiddle! (Apparently Trump supporters–and only Trump supporters–have a secret pipeline to his true beliefs.

    But you also have to realize that nothing matters to them but The Wall.

    I read a lovely description of Trump this morning from a Republican who refuses to vote for him: Trump is a “thuggish, venal, gibbering psychotic.”

  74. CSK says:

    Well, this is interesting. Apparently in the wake of speculation that Melania Trump does not, as she claimed, have an undergraduate degree in art and architecture, her personal website with her biography has been scrubbed. If you go to http://www.melaniatrump.com, you get redirected to the Trump Organization website.

  75. Moosebreath says:

    @Jen:

    “I have to ask, when do we get a grownup?”

    We’ve had one for the past 7+ years. Many of the people supporting Trump seem to think having one was not a good idea.

  76. al-Alameda says:

    @Gavrilo:

    Look, what Donald Trump said may have been extremely careless, but there was clearly no intent to commit treason and no reasonable prosecutor would bring a case against him.

    Clearly, this needs to be investigated 8 or 9 times by a Democratic-majority led House Committee

    @William Teach:

    He’s not asking Russia to hack her server, for goodness sake. The server is already dismantled. He was asking Russia to release the emails that they probably already hacked years ago. Meaning matters.

    Please, to paraphrase language Republicans like to use, Trump is vile and corrupt. Therefore, we won’t have the answer until and unless this is the subject of multiple House and Senate investigations

  77. Jen says:

    @CSK:

    Jen, nothing Trump says or does is going to dissuade Trump supporters.

    Oh, I know. I will admit that I am astonished at their willingness to blindly accept the excuses that are shoveled out daily by his campaign, when the prima facie evidence that he is a Putin apologist or worse is right in front of them. They think he’ll be a “strong leader” when it is obvious to anyone who follows foreign affairs that the Russians are afraid not of him, but of Clinton. I read one article where a top Russian official had referred to her as “the lady with balls” when she was SoS. She’s smart and she scares them: that’s what I want. Not this pandering egomaniac who couldn’t logic his way out of a cardboard box with the top open.

    The Melania Trump website being scrubbed is not a surprise, there have been a lot of questions about her degree claims for a while, because the timelines of her work life just have never matched up to what would be required for a degree.

  78. Steve V says:

    @michael reynolds: Don’t forget the “constitutional conservatives”!

  79. CSK says:

    @Jen:

    I think a lot of Trump supporters secretly–or not so secretly–admire Putin. After all, he’s a white Christian (allegedy) tough guy who hates homosexuals. And, to boot, he’s a demagogue. What could be better?

  80. JohnMcC says:

    @al-Alameda: And a special prosecutor!

  81. grumpy realist says:

    @Gavrilo: The question isn’t what Trump means. We all know that he is a gasbag whose intent, always, is to hype himself and tell everyone how marvelous he is.

    The question is what the REST of the world thinks.

    (I have personal experience with how easy it is to derail foreign projects due to US dummitude. I ended up having to explain to the Japanese Space Development Agency exactly how the US budgetary process works and how they shouldn’t panic because the funding for the International Space Station got cut off in the Senate appropriations bill.)

  82. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Jen:

    when do we get a grownup?

    We don’t, at least not from the GOP. There’s not a grownup in the pack.

  83. bill says:

    @michael reynolds: um, hillary is white(trash) so how does anything about her conjure racism? i mean really, she’s from arkansas and bills protege was a real live stand in the doorway to keep black kids out of white schools type of segregationist. you don’t think that rubbed off on her? or that bill doesn’t bang black chicks- well none have stepped forward yet but there’s time…..and she’ll tear into any woman who claim bill sexually abused them, yet she’s no “stand by your man” type of little lady!
    so try and have it both ways i guess, from all the wacky left “women who hate men” telling everyone to vote for a woman, just because she’s a woman and it’s cool….and it’s not sexist?

    but back to the topic- the hillary klan said there’s no classified stuff in those emails anyways- and now they say there is? pretty good prosecuting by trump there!

  84. Lit3Bolt says:

    @Jen:

    There’s something about the cut of his jib though…

    Or is it the color of his skin?

    *waves at the Nazi and Klan supporters of Trump*

  85. michael reynolds says:

    @bill:
    Wow. I used to have some hope for you, bill. But all the right-wing trolls are showing their true colors now, “liberated” by Trump from the need to disguise their hatefulness and ignorance.

  86. Loviatar says:

    President Obama:

    Does anyone really believe that a guy who’s spent his 70 years on this Earth showing no regard for working people is suddenly going to be your champion? Your voice?

    michael reynolds:

    4) A bunch of working class white men who are disappointed at their job prospects embrace a notorious fraud who has left a long, long trail of ripping off people just like them. Why?

    Wow. They know they’re being lied to, but they so want to lash out and hurt those they consider inferior, that they’re willing to take the country down.

    Those who wonder why I despise Republicans, pay close attention to this election. Also remember, this is a choice, nothing is forced upon anyone, they are choosing to destroy this country.

    P.S.

    The fence sitters, the undecideds, the pox on both houses are not much better. The American house is on fire, the Democratic party has grabbed a water bucket; a dented, beat up, leaking water bucket. The Republican party have grabbed a gasoline can, a bright orange colored can labeled GASOLINE.

    Make a choice, this is one election where you don’t have the luxury of your principles.

  87. Andrew says:

    The “This is not the country I grew up in” crowd I think are the most telling. Basically Trump followers, not all, but most.

    They think this is not the country they grew up in, but, yet, it is. Corporations are still running the show. Politicians are still liars and thieves. The only real difference is that minorities are not as bad off as they once were. Still nothing like the privileges that whites have, such as myself. But, they are still able to take any bus seat, sit at any seat at the diner, and drink from any water fountain or use any bathroom.

    That’s really the only main difference. Minorities are considered on the same level in more ways.

    Ignorant white people have to deal with the fact that they have to live along side of those that they consider inferior, due to their own insecurities. Sorry, folks, but you are no special snowflake no matter how much you think you are. Heck, even Trump has to blanket himself in orange to go out in public.

  88. Pete S says:

    @Loviatar:

    this is one election where you don’t have the luxury of your principles.

    I respectfully disagree. Anyone who is no focused first and foremost on keeping the racist, sexist, lying fascist with seditious tendencies out of office, then they are really poor judges of principles anyway.

  89. Andrew says:

    @michael reynolds:

    “Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.’”

    – Asimov

  90. CSK says:

    I wonder if Trump, at this point, has convinced himself that he has a majority of the electorate supporting him? I think it was Nate Cohn who, the other day, observed that white Christian blue-collar men with no college degree constitute 9% of the electorate.

  91. Deserttrek says:

    dougie boy, time to lay off the sauce …. its rotting your brain

  92. Deserttrek says:

    @Pete S: exactly why sane people will not vote for hillary

  93. Kari Q says:

    @michael reynolds:

    4) A bunch of working class white men who are disappointed at their job prospects embrace a notorious fraud who has left a long, long trail of ripping off people just like them. Why?

    Mostly I agree with you, but this question you answered at least partially wrong.

    Start by acknowledging that the working (not just whites) are having an increasingly difficult time. Manufacturing jobs are gone and they are not coming back. They are left with poor paying, low status service jobs. And there aren’t enough of them. Upward mobility is virtually impossible in many parts of the country. There is no path to success for most of them.

    It’s not totally unreasonable for them to want to return to a time when none of that was true. It’s impossible to do, of course, but natural for them to wish for.

    No one in either party has spoken about this. Certainly no one in either party has done anything about it. They assume that the Republicans don’t care, the Democrats look down on them, and they are being abandoned.

    So, along comes Trump. Yeah, they know he’s a liar, a cheat, untrustworthy. They know he doesn’t have plans. But he at least says that there are problems. No one else is addressing this, so they back him.

    They will be worse off after a Trump presidency than they are now. But they feel they have nothing to lose.

  94. michael reynolds says:

    @Kari Q:

    I would sympathize more with those folks except that I used to do those low status jobs. Waited tables for 10 years, cleaned toilets for 2, worked retail, flipped burgers. None of those experiences made me into a fascist. My ego was not destroyed. Work is work. If you want to be “a man” you work, you do what you have to do.

    I would also sympathize more if those very people had shown the slightest trace of sympathy for the fact that African Americans and Latinos have been doing those shit jobs since forever. White men get a tiny dose of what it’s like to be black and their response is, “let’s elect a racist goon?”

    And I would sympathize more if those men had not eagerly dug their own graves. Who elected legislatures and governors and presidents who gutted the unions? White men, especially southern white men. And now they’re angry that no one is standing up for them? They gutted the organizations that used to stand up for them.

    So, yes, I think as a matter of practical politics we need to bring them over. But pity? Some, but it’s more the general pity I feel for the stupid or the weak. I wish they weren’t stupid and weak.

    I am officially old, from a previous generation, and my idea of being a man does not involve a lot of self pity or shifting of blame. The bad or stupid things I’ve done in my life are my fault, full stop. The mistakes are my mistakes. I do my work, I care for my family, and to do that I’ll go bag groceries or pull espressos at Starbucks if I need to.

  95. Kari Q says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Fair enough, and I agree with you that I don’t feel pity for them. Too often, those of us on the left ignore their genuine concerns and simply wave them all off as racists we don’t need to worry about. I am appalled by the racism, but even racists need jobs after all.

  96. Loviatar says:

    @Kari Q:

    but even racists need jobs after all.

    Here is my theme for the 2016 election season: Choices have Consequences

    Racist have chosen to put their hate of the other over the well being of their family. Their choice their consequence. Unlike you and michael reynolds I have zero sympathy or pity.

  97. Steve V says:

    @Kari Q: I would also quibble with

    But he at least says that there are problems. No one else is addressing this, so they back him.

    I’ve been around for a few elections now, and it’s my recollection that pretty much everyone always recognizes that these problems exist and everyone addresses them.

    So, I think it’s *how* Trump addresses them (if he really does, which I’m not even that sure about) that’s different.

  98. grumpy realist says:

    @Loviatar: This seems to be the axiom I have tried to live by: “Stupidity should hurt.”

    If you’re really clever, you learn from watching the stupidity of others and decide to Not Do That. Otherwise you get to learn when the teeth of the grizzly bears leave scars on your OWN body….

    Trump plays to desperate people, unfortunately. I have more sympathy for them falling for his schtick than those who really should know better. But I doubt that they’ll learn from the experience when he roars off in a cloud of dust, leaving them, penniless and barefooted, on the side of the road.

    Once a con man, always a con man. If The Donald is really as rich as he says he is, why doesn’t he pay back all the small companies he stiffed in his many bankruptcy filings?

  99. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @michael reynolds: You’re much more generous than I am. I don’t think I’ve ever considered bill as anything other than Jenos with a lower IQ.

  100. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    On the last segment of a local talk radio program this morning, the host was decrying the difficulty of deciding who to vote for. He was especially distraught at the fact that “none of the candidates ever talk about their platform and we have no way to know what they stand for.” The woman who produces the show and participates in the conversation for the last segment suggested that because the platforms are complicated and don’t distill down to sound bites very well he needed to look on the websites of the various candidates and he would see the platforms for their candidacies.

    The newsreader for the show then said, “yeah, you look at the platforms and then decide which candidate best matches your principles.”

    “Yeah,” the host interjected, “but then you have to decide what your principles are, and that’s just so hard [emphasis in original].

    Was it Ron White who said “you can’t fix stupid?”

  101. Kari Q says:

    @Steve V:

    Perhaps replace that with “promises to overthrow the system that fails to address the problems.” I wasn’t entirely satisfied with the original wording but polishing an Internet comment, even one at OTB, seemed a little obsessive.

  102. mannning says:

    Russia, China or other parties, either have hacked Clinton’s 30,000 or so emails or not before the server was taken off line. I suspect someone has done so, since it has been shown to be quite easy to do.
    If they have hacked them, it is either in their interest to let the US public read them, or not.
    If they haven’t hacked them, nothing will be forthcoming, except derision and denial.
    If they have hacked them and want them read by the US public, possibly because they wish to influence the US election, they can feed them surreptitiously to Wikileaks, thus acquiring a measure of deniability.
    So one can expect derision and denial in any event, which has already occurred from Russia.
    Then, it would be up to Wikileaks to release the emails or not.
    I am not certain which way Wikileaks would go. I suspect they would release them, but I have no idea when.
    If Russia or China or anyone do have the emails, but do not want to influence the election, perhaps they want to hold Clinton hostage to their publication in order to gain an advantage over the US via what Clinton could do for them during her presidency should she win. That is, if the emails actually contained seriously damaging, even impeachable information about Clinton, and not, as she claimed, wedding plans and yoga class schedules. We will only find this out the hard way, if at all.
    Should Clinton win the election, I sincerely hope the FBI, CIA, and other agencies keep a close watch on her decisions affecting Russia, China or others unknown, not that they could discover malfeasance easily, but it is the only defense we have. What a fine situation Clinton created with her offline email server!
    In sum, the preferable outcome is for the hackers to expose the emails, or have them exposed, ASAP, thus preventing some possibly damaging events to the US during a Clinton presidency, or causing considerable relief and laughter if they are as innocuous as claimed. It seems that Mr. Trump reached the same conclusion.

  103. wr says:

    @mannning: This all makes perfect sense, as long as you choose to believe that Hillary Clinton was planning major crimes in her emails.

    Which is to say, it all makes perfect sense as long as you are a lunatic conspiracy freak.

    Meanwhile, it looks very likely that Donald Trump is in hock up to his eyeballs to the Russians, and is already taking orders from Putin. His one bit of input into the entire RNC platform was to take out a bit saying that Ukraine should be free from Russian interference.

    But you keep right on with your serious concerns about the Chinese reading about Hillary’s meth operations in her emails. That’s what we should all be worried about.

  104. al-Alameda says:

    @mannning:

    Should Clinton win the election, I sincerely hope the FBI, CIA, and other agencies keep a close watch on her decisions affecting Russia, China or others unknown, not that they could discover malfeasance easily, but it is the only defense we have. What a fine situation Clinton created with her offline email server!

    Multiple Republican directed investigations have (apparently) not produced any evidence that Secy. Clinton’s server was hacked and classified documents disclosed to unauthorized persons. How do we know this? Because Republicans would have leaked that information by now.

  105. mannning says:

    @wr: @al-Alameda:

    There are hackers and then there are really good hackers that do not leave a trace. That no evidence of hacking was stated is most likely not the final answer.

    The collection of lies by Clinton about her email practice does not give any confidence that she straightforwardly deleted trivia, nor that she didn’t have serious stuff in the lot she deleted.

    Either we will be shown these emails or not. Most probably not, so nothing can be said for certain.
    We shall see.

  106. al-Alameda says:

    @mannning:
    “That no evidence of hacking was stated is most likely not the final answer.”
    Well, it is certainly true that Republicans do not need evidence that actual harm was done as a result of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server.

  107. Matt says:

    @mannning: There is no such thing as leaving no trace (in real hacking not the “oops someone left facebook logged in on this public machine). Even the best hackers will leave some fingerprints behind (at the very least IP addresses in access logs on the hardware such as the router). The goal is to make sure the fingerprints look like someone else or provide no real useful information to those investigating your intrusions.

    The related hardware was certainly looked through with a fine tooth comb. Under such scrutiny there’s almost not chance a successful hacking wouldn’t be noticed in some manner.

  108. Mister Bluster says:

    @mannning:..the preferable outcome is for the hackers to expose the emails, or have them exposed,..It seems that Mr. Trump reached the same conclusion.

    So when did Trump agree with you Mr. Manning?
    When Trump said:
    “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” he said during a Florida news conference. “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”
    Or when he said:
    “Of course, I’m being sarcastic,”

  109. mannning says:

    Just for the fun of it!
    The nub here is whether Clinton had email content of a damaging nature in the deleted portion of her emails. Clinton supporters accept here her explanation that it was all trivial and of no importance.
    However, her statements on the first batch turned out to be a series of lies according to the FBI, so that casts suspicion on the deleted set as well. Do they contain sensitive info from the government, or do they contain information about quid pro quo exchanges with foreign nations for favorable SOS decisions followed or proceeded by large sums on money appearing in either Bill’s pocket for speeches or in the Clinton Foundation’s coffers. I suggest that the FBI is investigating this possibility. The issue stands on its own merits, and casting aspersions on me is infantile. Talk to the FBI.
    My expertise in hacking is rather outdated, but we did have a run at one of my large network projects in the Pentagon by a hacker. He had considerable success, and my experts could not find the signs of penetration even when given the results. So in the end, it depends on the skills on both sides and the specific designs of the systems being attacked, and their security provisions. Apparently there was a kind of reset program on hack exit that somehow cleaned up the hack signs as he was backing out rather well. So I cannot defend this Clinton hack non-discovery in detail, but my bet is that it did happen and that it was done expertly. To go into much greater details here isn’t on for obvious reasons. The FBI possibly has the same policy, since any divulging of hacker success can be detremental.
    I have no contact with Trump, I was merely suggesting that he may have followed a somewhat similar analysis to mine, but chose to make a different statement going, sarcastically or not, to the heart of the issue, which I do not intend to debate.

  110. Matt says:

    @mannning: You do realize the FBI was able to recover the deleted emails right? When you delete something it isn’t gone for good unless you rewrite the sectors involved with 0s and 1s in a random pattern a good hundred times or so. Anything less and there’s still a ghost image that can be used to recover the data or at least the majority of it. Most of the deleted emails were already known as they were seen on other systems. You know that emails are generally saved on the receiving and sending servers right?

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/report-fbi-pulls-deleted-emails-from-hillary-clintons-server/

    I have seen a small private company pull data off a hard drive that was full formatted twice. The government has technological capabilities well beyond that.

  111. Matt says:

    @mannning: I’ll be checking this post for a while in case you have any questions about computer hardware.

    The CIA was doing this decades ago with specialized equipment. Now anyone can remotely gather data from a computer via EM fields.

    https://www.wired.com/2015/07/researchers-hack-air-gapped-computer-simple-cell-phone/

  112. Moosebreath says:

    Meanwhile, Trump’s claim that it was a joke goes against his prior actions.

    “So no fewer than four times now has Trump alluded to the idea of a foreign power getting Clinton’s emails. He has made a steady progression on this from “they have the emails” to “I hope they have them” to “if they don’t, I hope they get them” to “if they have them, they should turn them over.” This suggests it’s an idea he’s decided he wants to press. Maybe one of the comments could be construed as a joke, but all of them?

    And again, most importantly: The Trump campaign’s official responses to the controversy on Wednesday made no mention of a joke. The campaign instead argued semantics and said the issue was being politicized.”

  113. wr says:

    @mannning: “I suggest that the FBI is investigating this possibility. The issue stands on its own merits, and casting aspersions on me is infantile. Talk to the FBI.”

    What should I say? “Hey, feds, some anonymous clown on the internet says you must be investigating something — is it true?”

  114. mannning says:

    @Matt:

    Yes, I am quite aware of the capability to resurrect data from hard drives, and I assume that the FBI has done so with Clinton’s drive or drives, but their case was largely derailed in advance. Comey made a valiant effort to damn Clinton, but bowed to the reality that Lynch would not prosecute Clinton. (I hope someday that records of the Lynch–Bill Clinton chat (if they exist!) will be exposed.)

    What Trump and, independently, I am saying is that should there be copies of the deleted emails out there somewhere, their exposure to the public would bypass the FBI and Lynch and take the contents directly to the media and the public for their consideration. If there is only trivia in the emails as Clinton declares, then no harm would be done. But, if there are emails of a truly damning kind in the lot, at least some corrective action could take place, despite the Obama administration, namely voting down Clinton for president.

    Going further, I believe that a new president–Trump–would appoint a new Attorney General, and direct the FBI to reopen the Clinton case, and perhaps appoint an Independent Council to look into the matter. Of course, if Clinton wins the presidency, that would stifle the matter, perhaps forever.

  115. Grewgills says:

    @mannning:

    If there is only trivia in the emails as Clinton declares, then no harm would be done.

    Other than to her and her family’s privacy, but who cares about that amiright?

    Going further, I believe that a new president–Trump–would appoint a new Attorney General, and direct the FBI to reopen the Clinton case, and perhaps appoint an Independent Council to look into the matter.

    Of course he would, but that has nothing to do with the merits of the case.

  116. mannning says:

    @Grewgills:

    Perhaps the holder of the email copies would only expose the damaging emails if they exist, thus keeping her private emails private to us, but not, of course, to whomever else they want to read them. Or, perhaps our media would hold back on her private emails, given that they receive the whole batch. My only concern is discovery of damaging emails if they exist.

    If it takes someone to read then all and filter them, that is one penalty Clinton pays for setting her private email server up and using it for US State business and possibly other nefarious goings on, and then deleting whatever she decided to delete. Her privacy has already been compromised by the FBI.

    It would be helpful if the FBI made an announcement to the effect that she did not have damaging emails in the entire rest of the lot they discovered .That would tend to damp down the witch-hunt.

  117. mannning says:

    @Grewgills:

    Of course he would, but that has nothing to do with the merits of the case.

    So you know that in advance? Either you have read her emails or you have infinite faith in Clinton, which I do not.

  118. Matt says:

    @mannning: What you’re saying is you don’t give a crap about reality because you KNOW THAT CLINTON IS GUILTY OF SOMETHING!!!!!!11

    It’s sad to see someone give themselves an intellectual lobotomy because of an irrational hatred of a politician. …

  119. al-Ameda says:

    @mannning:

    Going further, I believe that a new president–Trump–would appoint a new Attorney General, and direct the FBI to reopen the Clinton case, and perhaps appoint an Independent Council to look into the matter. Of course, if Clinton wins the presidency, that would stifle the matter, perhaps forever.

    ‘Stifle the matter?’
    As long as there is a majority Republican House, the matter will never be stifled.

    As you are well aware, a majority Republican House may initiate impeachment proceedings, and ultimately may vote to impeach a Democratic president under any pretense or any reason it prefers. They do not need proof of any malfeasance or wrongdoing – just a desire to impeach. The Senate of course, requires the affirmative vote of 2/3rd of members present to convict, so it is harder to support the impeachment by voting to convict on the Republican whim.

  120. mannning says:

    @Matt:

    I neither said nor meant such and you know it. I am working on the assumption that the matter needs to be settled somehow for the good of the nation, and either put to bed or brought into the light. The only one that is in US control of the information is the FBI. They have been effectively muzzled by Lynch, and possibly Obama. So either another party that has the emails comes forward or not. If not, then the matter is left open.

    This leaves these hackers or someone they feed the info to with the opportunity to blackmail Clinton after she is in office, if, that is, there are damaging emails in the lot. My mind boggles at the possibilities for damage to the US if some emails of hers are that powerful a tool for blackmail. I see the national interest potentially to be in jeopardy, but I have no proof of any malfeasance on her part beyond that set forth by the FBI., which was bad enough.

    I care greatly for the US: Clinton is not or should not be held above the national interest. It is that simple. I can sympathize with her predicament if there is bad stuff in the emails, but she made this bed herself. Someone in her position should not have even the appearance of impropriety, or a serious condemnation from the FBI either, which she already has. This is all I have to say on the matter.

  121. Mister Bluster says:

    @mannning:..I have no contact with Trump,..

    I don’t see where anyone here has suggested that you do. Defensive much?

    This is all I have to say on the matter.

    Promises, promises.

  122. Matt says:

    @mannning: The matter is settled. You refuse to admit it’s settled and you keep inventing absolute bullshit as possibilities. The hundreds of people involved in the investigation at the FBI aren’t being muzzled. You are fundamentally rejecting reality.

    For the last time there were no hackers. Deal with it and move on to your next faux outrage..

  123. mannning says:

    @Matt:

    No hackers? Care to revise that statement? The FBI, NSA, that is, those in the know who were forced to sign a no-leak document, and others think quite differently. Even the NYT libs think differently. You are evidently a do-no-wrong Clinton apologist. The truth will become evident sooner or later to you. Or, perhaps not, if you are that hard over an apologist.