No stranger to controversy, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has just invited a foreign government to spy on his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.
Specifically, the brash billionaire called on Russia to find and release the thousands of emails Clinton did not disclose to officials investigating how she handled classified information when she was secretary of state. Clinton has said the emails she did not turn over were private.
“Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” Trump told reporters.
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!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 27, 2016
Whether or not it was a joke, it did not amuse the Clinton camp, which already believes Russia orchestrated a leak of embarrassing Democratic party emails last week to help Trump.
The New York Times? said intelligence officials are pretty sure Moscow was behind the email theft, but not so sure whether this was just routine spying or meant to influence the election.
Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov brushed aside suggestions it was involved: “I don’t want to use four-letter words,” he told reporters.
The FBI is now investigating the leak of some 19,000 emails that showed the Democratic National Committee favoured Clinton over the more left-wing Bernie Sanders for the party’s presidential nomination.