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cold cyber wars

Listen as Donald Trump challenges Russia to hack into Hillary Clinton's emails

And yes, you read that correctly.


Updated 9.02 pm

DONALD TRUMP SENSATIONALLY challenged Russia to hack into Hillary Clinton’s emails as a furious Democratic campaign accused the Republican nominee of inviting foreign spies to meddle in the US presidential election.

His remarks provoked outrage from the Clinton campaign and left some Republicans wincing as his running mate hurriedly clarified that the party was not soft on Moscow and Trump tried to roll back his remarks.

Trump’s remarks came as the Kremlin denied Moscow was interfering in the US election campaign after President Barack Obama refused to rule out that Russia could be trying to sway the vote in favour of Trump.

The Kremlin shrugged off accusations by the Hillary Clinton campaign that Russia was involved in the embarrassing leak of emails meant to help Republican presidential candidate Trump as “absurd”.

Asked about the leaks, Trump said that it “probably” wasn’t Russia, but that it if it was it shows they have “very little respect for our country”.

He then went on to challenge Russia to find “30,000 missing emails”, a reference to the controversy surrounding Clinton’s use of a private email server while Secretary of State.

“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,” Trump said as he looked directly down TV cameras.

The Clinton camp responded immediately and furiously.

“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,” Clinton’s senior policy advisor Jake Sullivan said.

(Click here if you can’t watch video)

Russia had earlier vehemently denied that it was behind a leak of emails from the Democratic National Convention.

“President Putin has repeatedly said that Russia has never interfered and does not interfere in internal affairs, especially in the electoral processes of other countries,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters as he denied Russia was involved in a hack of Democratic National Committee emails.

Moscow has carefully avoided any actions, any words that could be interpreted as direct or indirect influence on the electoral process.

“If you talk about some suspicions regarding our country, then you need at the very least to be precise and concrete,” Peskov searlier today.

In an interview with NBC News set to air tonight, Obama said that “anything was possible” following suggestions that Russia could have been behind the hack.

Obama told NBC he could not speak about the precise motive for the hack or subsequent leak but was aware of Trump’s positive comments about the Russian leadership.

“What we do know is that the Russians hack our systems. Not just government systems, but private systems,” Obama said.

(Click here if you can’t watch video)

Trump has made no secret of his admiration for President Vladimir Putin, leading some to suggest the Kremlin strongman was working to help propel the real estate billionaire into the White House.

In December last year, Putin praised Trump as “a very striking man, unquestionably talented”.

“It’s not up to us to judge his virtues, that is up to US voters, but he is the absolute leader of the presidential race,” Putin said.

In the same interview, Obama said that Democrats should “stay worried” about Trump’s chances until the votes are cast.

Obama, who is the keynote speaker at the DNC tonight, was asked whether Republican candidate Donald Trump could defeat the Democrat’s Hillary Clinton.

(Click here if you can’t watch the video)

“Anything is possible,” he said.

“As somebody who has now been in elected office at various levels for about 20 years, I have seen all kinds of crazy stuff happen, and I think everybody that goes into campaigns not running scared can end up losing.

My advice to Democrats — I don’t have to give this advice to Hillary Clinton because she already knows it — is you stay worried until all the votes are cast and counted, because one of the dangers in an election like this is that people don’t take the challenge seriously, they stay home, and we end up getting something else.

Clinton was proclaimed the Democratic presidential nominee last night at a star-studded convention in Philadelphia keynoted by husband and former president Bill Clinton.

Obama praised Clinton as an “outstanding secretary of state” who helped make the country safer and defended her against Republican accusations that her use of a private email account while in office had compromised national security.

“What I think is scary is a president who doesn’t know their stuff and doesn’t seem to have an interest in learning what they don’t know,” he said, referring to Trump.

I think if you listen to any press conference he has given or any debates, basic knowledge about the world or what a nuclear triad is, or the difference between Sunni and Shia in the Muslim world, those are things he doesn’t know and hasn’t seem to spend a lot of time trying to find out about.

Read: Families of victims of shot-down airliner MH17 to sue Vladimir Putin for €21 million >

Read: Putin has put off meeting Elton John to talk about gay rights >

© – AFP 2016

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