Dems begin ‘treason’ talk against Trump
Democrats on Thursday united against Donald TrumpDonald TrumpVeteran accused in alleged border wall scheme faces new charges Arizona Republicans to brush off DOJ concern about election audit FEC drops investigation into Trump hush money payments MORE’s remarks that he hoped Russian hackers would gain access to Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonMcConnell: Taliban could take over Afghanistan by 'the end of the year' Hillary Clinton: There must be a 'global reckoning' with disinformation Pelosi's archbishop calls for Communion to be withheld from public figures supporting abortion rights MORE’s emails, with a few saying the call for international espionage could be construed as treason.
“He is inviting an aggressive country that we are really worried about to invade us,” Sen. Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillDemings asked about Senate run after sparring with Jordan on police funding Republicans fret over divisive candidates Greitens Senate bid creates headache for GOP MORE (Mo.) said on MSNBC. "This is — this is ridiculous, and, frankly, it borders on treasonous."
"It’s terrifying he’s doing as well as he is," she added of the GOP's presidential nominee. "I don’t think this is a man who has any interest in understanding the complexity of foreign policy."
Rep. Steve Israel (N.Y.) closely echoed McCaskill’s concerns during his own interview with MSNBC on Wednesday.
“Well, that borders on treason. Never before have I heard of or seen a candidate not just for president, but for anything, invite a foreign spy agency to hack America’s computers. It’s one thing to be unfit for command, but today he’s proved he’s dangerously unfit for command."
Former CIA Director and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta earlier Wednesday questioned Trump’s loyalty to the U.S. following the billionaire’s comments.
“I just think that’s beyond the pale,” he said to CNN’s Christiane Amanpour. "I think that kind of statement reflects that he is truly not qualified to be president of the United States.”
Rep. Eliot Engel (N.Y.) said Trump’s comments may encourage further Russian meddling in the general presidential election. Russia is accused of hacking the Democratic National Committee's (DNC) emails and leaking them to WikiLeaks, which released nearly 20,000 of them last week.
“Vladimir Putin is working to influence an American election, and a major-party candidate wants to benefit from this foreign interference by encouraging more illegal hacks,” Engel said in a statement.
“We cannot allow Russia to manipulate American democracy, and we cannot stay quiet when a major American political figure invites foreign influence into American voting booths," said Engel, a ranking member on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.
And House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (Md.) said Trump’s comments raise serious concerns about his patriotism.
“To call on a foreign adversary to commit an illegal act of cybercrime and espionage in order to undermine a political rival is not only un-American, it undermines our national security,” he said in a statement.
Trump earlier Wednesday said he wished Russian hackers accused of breaching the DNC also obtained emails deleted from Clinton’s personal server.
Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, last year provided to the State Department roughly 30,000 emails that had been housed on her personal server from her time as secretary of State. Another 30,000 were deleted because they were personal, she said.
“If they hacked, they probably have her 30,000 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.”