WASHINGTON (AP) – Donald Trump encouraged Russia on Wednesday to find and make public missing emails deleted by his presidential opponent, Hillary Clinton, setting off an instant debate over hacking and his urging of a foreign government to meddle in American politics.
Shortly after Trump’s extraordinary remarks, his Republican running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, took a different tack and warned of “serious consequences” if Russia interfered in the election.
Democrats – and some Republicans – quickly condemned the remarks by the Republican presidential standard-bearer.
They came as the Democrats met on the third day of their national convention in Philadelphia, where Clinton will accept the presidential nomination Thursday night to face Republican Trump in November.
Trump’s comments raised the question 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. His brief remarks managed to divert attention from an embarrassing leak of other hacked emails that exposed sensitive internal political communications that had divided Democrats.
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