In July 2016, Donald Trump, then a presidential candidate, invited Russia to hack Hillary Clinton’s emails, asking the Kremlin to find “the 30,000 emails that are missing” from the personal server she used during her tenure as Secretary of State.
“I will tell you this, Russia: If you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” the Republican nominee said at a news conference in Florida. “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”
Trump’s remarks shocked the Clinton campaign––to say nothing of the world––and many perceived them as a potential threat to national security. Trump, as he does with most criticism, shrugged off these concerns. He made the request of the Russians on July 27, 2016.
And on that same day, according to an indictment that the Justice Department released earlier this afternoon, the Russians took Trump up on his offer.
The indictment details that “on or about July 27, 2016, the Conspirators attempted after hours to spearphish for the first time email accounts at a domain hosted by a third-party provider and used by Clinton’s personal office.”
July 27, 2016, Trump: "Russia, if you're listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing."
Indictment: That evening, Russian operatives targeted Clinton campaign emails "for the first time." pic.twitter.com/fanyaAxwfJ
— Christopher Ingraham (@_cingraham) July 13, 2018
That news––the confirmation many had waited for––took social media by storm.
Peter Daou, a Democratic strategist who has advised numerous political figures, including Hillary Clinton, expressed an anger felt by multitudes of Americans.
I want you all to remember: with their email obsession and endless coverage of Podesta's hacked emails, the mainstream media actively helped #Russia disseminate pro-Trump and anti-Clinton propaganda. They have NEVER taken responsibility for it. #Rosenstein #Mueller
— Peter Daou (@peterdaou) July 13, 2018
Our own law enforcement and intel agencies…
have confirmed that Russia launched a cyberattack…
against the United States…
to elect Donald Trump…
and defeat Hillary Clinton.
— Peter Daou (@peterdaou) July 13, 2018
Other political commentators and members of the media also weighed in, with some even calling out their colleagues for spending so much time focusing on the stories about Hillary Clinton’s emails rather than the specter of Russian collusion which lingered over the country even before the 2016 presidential election was in full swing.
From what I'm hearing on Russian state TV, I can surmise that Putin will blame not only Obama, but also Hillary Clinton for the deterioration of U.S.-Russia relations, #Crimea, etc. to create a real bonding experience with Trump. Trump will eat it up. The writing is on the wall. pic.twitter.com/dW2pNENJjC
— Julia Davis (@JuliaDavisNews) July 13, 2018
Trey Gowdy said that Trump was "joking" when he asked Russia to hack Hillary's emails
Trey Gowdy can't understand hyperbole when Peter Strokz said Clinton should win 100,000,000 to 0.
He's either an idiot or a partisan hack… or both!
I'll take BOTH!!#StrzokHearing
— Brian Krassenstein (@krassenstein) July 13, 2018
Trump literally stood in front of a microphone and said, "Russia, let's get this DNC/Clinton hacking thing going, the Fake News media will weaponize that shit!"
And Putin did. And the media did. And here we are.
Ratings are way up tho, right? Good job everyone.
— Elliott Lusztig (@ezlusztig) July 13, 2018
To everyone who said:
‘Russia hacked the election.
Trump is a Russian puppet.
Hillary Clinton rightly belongs in the White House as POTUS…’
You are a patriot.
If you don’t care about these Russian hacking indictments, you don’t care about this country.
— Dana Goldberg (@DGComedy) July 13, 2018
In recent days, President Trump had ramped up his attacks against Special Counsel Robert Mueller and members of his investigation into Russian interference, lashing out at Lisa Page and Peter Strzok, two figures at the center of a Republican-led Congressional probe into whether Mueller’s investigation has operated with clear bias––and even animus––toward the president.
How can the Rigged Witch Hunt proceed when it was started, influenced and worked on, for an extended period of time, by former FBI Agent/Lover Peter Strzok? Read his hate filled and totally biased Emails and the answer is clear!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 11, 2018
Although the president has not commented on today’s indictment himself, former Deputy Secretary of State and Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte argued that its release could have waited until after Trump’s face to face meeting with Russian leader Vladimir Putin in Helsinki.
“It could have just as well waited until the president had left Europe. So it raised my eyebrow. I don’t know what the mitigating circumstances are,” Negroponte told Hill.TV’s Krystal Ball on “Rising.”
Negroponte added that the meeting between the two leaders should still proceed:
If it’s been scheduled, it’s important that these two heads of state meet. Russia is a permanent member of the [United Nations] Security Council, it’s a nuclear weapons state, it has global reach, whether it’s in the Middle East, the Korean peninsula, or elsewhere, and I think it behooves us to have that kind of dialogue.