Evergreen headline: ‘Media Freaking Out Over Trump Statement.’ Today, as ever, it’s valid:
Donald J. Trump said Wednesday that he hoped Russia had hacked Hillary Clinton’s email, essentially sanctioning a foreign power’s cyberspying of 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. “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 U.S. presidential election. His comments came amid questions about the hacking of the Democratic National Committee’s computer servers, which researchers have concluded was likely the work of two Russian intelligence agencies.
Shocking? Sure. But Trump’s statement draws a bead on how completely reckless Secretary of State Clinton was with her private e-mail server. I am quite sure that Russia already has those e-mails, and will see to it that any juicy items in them will be released at opportune times in the fall campaign.
Maybe I’ve been watching too much of The Americans, but I am also not particularly outraged by this behavior. I wish Russia hadn’t done it, but come on, we would do the same thing to them if we had the chance. In 2014, the Russians intercepted a phone call between senior US diplomat Victoria Nuland and another American diplomat, in which they discussed American efforts behind the scenes to influence Ukrainian politics in an anti-Moscow direction. Here’s a transcript of that discussion. None of this should surprise us. In fact, I would be surprised to learn that hackers in the employ of the CIA and the NSA are not doing the same thing to the Russians right now.
Should Americans care that Putin is trying to influence the US presidential election? Yeah, I guess. I don’t like the thought of any foreign government meddling in our national politics. But we do it to other countries all the time. This is how the game is played. I think it’s a more important issue that the Democratic candidate was so careless with top-secret communications that she left herself open to hackers working for the Russians, the Chinese, and any other foreign government. It’s sheer, reckless incompetence. And if there’s anything we know about the Clintons, it’s that they’re reckless.
My colleague Noah Millman says in his post pretty much everything I say here about this fiasco, except he thinks it’s outrageous that Trump failed to denounce Russia for interfering in US affairs. All things considered, I greatly wish Trump had done as Noah wishes he had done. Does it really need pointing out that Trump is also reckless as hell? But after Trump talked about his penis size in a GOP presidential candidate’s debate, I ceased to be shocked by anything that comes out of that short-fingered vulgarian’s mouth.
Please don’t “whatabout” me regarding Trump. I believe he is a menace. But the fact that he is a menace does not obviate the fact that HRC is too. Trump’s outrageous statement today only confirms that. There is almost certainly no question but that the Russians have those e-mails already. The only questions are what’s in them, and when are the Russians going to drop that particular propaganda bomb.
Just want to point out that Donald Trump got Hillary’s deleted emails to the top of the front page of the New York Times site this morning.
— Aaron G. (@AJG_LA) July 27, 2016
Trump is awful & his Russia ties are worrisome but this is completely overwrought. It was a joke to make a point. https://t.co/lmLmznZZxd
— Virginia Postrel (@vpostrel) July 27, 2016