Trump Invites Russian Hackers To Influence the American Election

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on Wednesday invited Russian hackers to find and publish Hillary Clinton’s emails.

“Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 [Clinton] emails that are missing,” Trump said at a press conference. “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press. Let’s see if that happens. That’ll be nice.”

The remarks came after Clinton’s camp said this week that Russian hackers were likely responsible for breaching the computer networks of the Democratic National Committee earlier this year and leaking emails of top officials to WikiLeaks for publication.

The hack, which showed top staffers considering leaking negative information about Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, led to chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz announcing her resignation.

“Russia has no respect for our country,” Trump said at the press conference. “And that’s why, if it is Russia, nobody even knows it’s Russia, it was probably China. … It shows how weak we are. It shows how disrespected we are.”

Trump also slammed the DNC for what was seen as conspiring against Sanders to ensure that Clinton won the Democratic nomination.

“I’m not gonna tell Putin what to do. Why should I tell Putin what to do?” Trump said. “It’s not even about Russia or China or whoever it is that’s doing the hacking. It’s about the things they said in those emails. They were terrible things.”

He also accused Clinton of being in on the conspiracy.

“Believe me, as sure as you’re sitting there, Hillary Clinton knew about it,” Trump said. “She knew everything. Debbie Wasserman Schultz could not breathe without speaking and getting approval from Hillary Clinton.”

Trump doubled down on his Russian hacker comments in a tweet after the press conference, but revised his language to say that if Russia already has emails, they should hand them over:

But his running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, released a statement after the press conference that discouraged Russian involvement in a US election.

“The FBI will get to the bottom of who is behind the hacking,” Pence said in the statement. “If it is Russia and they are interfering in our elections, I can assure you both parties and the United States government will ensure there are serious consequences.”

A spokesman for House Speaker Paul Ryan issued a statement after the press conference pushing back on Trump’s comments.

“Russia is a global menace led by a devious thug,” Brendan Buck said, according to the statement. “Putin should stay out of this election.”

Clinton’s campaign also responded.

“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,” senior policy adviser Jake Sullivan said in a statement. “That’s not hyperbole, those are just the facts. This has gone from being a matter of curiosity, and a matter of politics, to being a national security issue.”

(h/t Business Insider)

Reality

This is a curious comment at a time when Trump’s Russian connections are being scrutinized. His campaign manager Paul Manafort, had worked as a consultant for the now-ousted pro-Russian government in Ukraine. And the Trump campaign worked like mad to include a more pro-Russian stance towards arming Ukraine to be added in the GOP platform.

Here’s what Trump is up to with the “Russia, please release Hillary’s 30,000 emails.” He’s intentionally conflating the State Department server with the DNC email hack so that in the minds of Americans, Hillary already had her emails hacked by Russia. But they’re two different email scandals.

Trump is trying to make them into one thing so he can say Hillary endangered national security when Russia hacked her email (which there’s no evidence they did.)

But… But… But… He was just joking!

I mean, this might have been an attempt at humor. At best one could argue Trump was half-joking, since a Russian hack would greatly benefit him and his chances of becoming president.

And if the argument really is that he is joking then to that we would say to even publicly joke that a foreign government spy on his political rival is in poor taste because it is rooting against an American, which is all beneath the office he is seeking.

But in the end… what is the punchline?

Media

Trump Praises Saddam Hussein’s Approach to Terrorism — Again

Donald Trump praised former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein Tuesday night, allowing that he was a “really bad guy” but had redeeming qualities when it came to his handling of terrorists.

Trump lauded the former U.S. adversary for how “well” he killed terrorists, recalling that he “didn’t read them the rights, they didn’t talk. They were terrorists, over.” Now, Trump assessed, “Iraq is Harvard for terrorism. You want to be a terrorist, you go to Iraq.”

Hillary Clinton’s campaign seized the opportunity to once more paint Trump has unfit for office. “Donald Trump’s praise for brutal strongmen seemingly knows no bounds,” Senior Policy Advisor Jake Sullivan said in an emailed statement. “Trump’s cavalier compliments for brutal dictators, and the twisted lessons he seems to have learned from their history, again demonstrate how dangerous he would be as commander-in-chief and how unworthy he is of the office he seeks.”

This isn’t the first time Trump has cast the brutal dictator in a positive light — or called Iraq an Ivy League locale for aspiring terrorists. Throughout the primaries Trump glossed over Hussein’s violent history in favor of what he viewed as a more stable Middle East ruled by Saddam’s viciousness.

In an October exclusive with NBC’s Chuck Todd, Trump asserted that the Middle East would be better off today if Moammar Gadhafi of Libya and Saddam Hussein were still in power. “It’s not even a contest,” Trump told Meet the Press. Trump continued to push this idea at a rally in Franklin, Tennessee, telling the crowd that despite Hussein’s “vicious” rule in Iraq “there were no terrorists in Iraq” while he ruled.

“You know what he used to do to terrorists?” Trump polled the Tennessee crowd. “A one day trial and shoot him…and the one day trial usually lasted five minutes, right? There was no terrorism then.”

Trump didn’t just praise Hussein for keeping terrorists at bay, but seemed to tacitly accept the dictator’s use of chemical weapons. During a December rally in Hilton Head, South Carolina, Trump took a cavalier attitude toward Iraq’s use of chemical weapons under Saddam.

“Saddam Hussein throws a little gas, everyone goes crazy, ‘oh he’s using gas!'” Trump said. Describing the way stability was maintained in the region during that time, Trump said “they go back, forth, it’s the same. And they were stabilized.”

Trump lamented how the United States intervened in the region during a speech in South Carolina late last year. “if you go after one or the other, in this case Iraq, you’re going to destabilize the Middle East. That’s what’s going to happen,” he said.

On Tuesday night, at rally focusing heavily on Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama, Trump revived the old riffs from his primary playbook. “We shouldn’t have destabilized Saddam Hussein, right? He was a bad guy, really bad guy, but you know what he did well? He killed terrorists. He did that so good.”

Trump’s statements were noteworthy for the company he made them in. At Trump’s side Tuesday: Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, who was on the trail with Trump for the day. Corker is being vetted for vice president and his trail time in North Carolina was considered by many to be an audition.

(h/t NBC News)

Reality

What Trump is praising Saddam Hussein for here isn’t justice against the evil terrorists. Saddam Hussein used this tactic of labeling political dissenters and ethnic minorities as “terrorists” and disappearing them, many times without trial. This is a violation of human rights, crimes against humanity, and murder. Hussein’s atrocities are all documented at organizations like Human Rights Watch.

So this is what Trump is praising when comparing Hussein against our “weak” justice system. And if applied in the United States it would be a clear violation of the 5th and 14th amendments of the Constitution should it be applied here in the United States.

Also this isn’t the first time Donald Trump praised Saddam Hussein and other authoritarian leaders while calling the democratically elected officials in Congress and the White House “weak.”

  • After receiving praise from Vladimir Putin, Trump showed lots of love for the authoritarian Russian President in return saying he’ll get along fine with him.
  • Praised North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un on how well he killed all of his uncles in order to take power.
  • In the midst of a brutal civil war where authoritarian Syrian President Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons against his own people, Trump was kind enough to give Bashar a grade of ‘A’ for leadership.
  • During the CNN-Telemundo Republican candidates’ debate in February that while Gaddafi was “really bad,” his tactics were effective and we would be so much better off if Gaddafi were in charge.
  • Trump tweeted a quote from former Italian dictator Benito Mussolini. When asked about being associated with a fascist Trump responded what difference does it make if it was Mussolini or somebody else — it’s a very good quote.
  • And Trump has a history of praising Saddam Hussein in interviews and at rallies.

Gadhafi, Hussein, Bashar, Un, and Putin all have committed atrocities against their own people and were among the world’s worst human rights abusers.

Media

Trump on North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un: ‘You Gotta Give Him Credit’

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump appeared to praise North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, saying at a rally Saturday that “it’s incredible” how he was able to dispatch his political opponents.

Trump called Jong-Un a “maniac” during remarks about North Korea’s nuclear program during a rally at Ottumwa, Iowa, but conceded, “You gotta give him credit.”

“How many young guys — he was like 26 or 25 when his father died — take over these tough generals, and all of a sudden … he goes in, he takes over, and he’s the boss,” Trump said. “It’s incredible. He wiped out the uncle, he wiped out this one, that one. I mean this guy doesn’t play games. And we can’t play games with him.”

Last week North Korea announced it had successfully detonated a hydrogen bomb after an earthquake was detected near previous test sites, though the White House quickly disputed the claim. North Korea released an image of Jong-un personally authorizing the test.

The next morning Trump said that North Korea was under the “total control” of China.

Yesterday’s remarks were not the first time Trump has been complimentary of an antagonist of the U.S. The real estate mogul has previously drawn criticism for accepting praise from Russian President Vladimir Putin, calling it a “great honor to be so nicely complimented by a man so highly respected within his own country and beyond.”

(h/t ABC News)

Reality

This isn’t the first time Donald Trump praised authoritarian leaders while calling the democratically elected officials in Congress and the White House “weak.”

  • After receiving praise from Vladimir Putin, Trump showed lots of love for the authoritarian Russian President in return saying he’ll get along fine with him.
  • In the midst of a brutal civil war where authoritarian Syrian President Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons against his own people, Trump was kind enough to give Bashar a grade of ‘A’ for leadership.
  • During the CNN-Telemundo Republican candidates’ debate in February that while Gaddafi was “really bad,” his tactics were effective and we would be so much better off if Gaddafi were in charge.
  • And Trump has a history of praising Saddam Hussein in interviews and at rallies.

Gadhafi, Hussein, Bashar, Un, and Putin all have committed atrocities against their own people and were among the world’s worst human rights abusers.

Media

Trump: World Would Be ‘100%’ Better With Hussein, Gadhafi in Power

Donald Trump believes the world would be much better off if ruthless dictators like Saddam Hussein and Moammar Gadhafi were still in power.

“100%,” Trump replied when asked that question in an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper that aired Sunday on “State of the Union.”

Trump said he believes Iraq and Libya, the respective countries of the since-deceased dictators, would be less fractured and promote a more stable Middle East if the two had not been forcefully pushed out of power. Hussein fell from power following the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 and Gadhafi was ousted following violent civil strife in 2011 that ultimately drew a NATO-led military intervention.

“I mean, look at Libya. Look at Iraq. Iraq used to be no terrorists. He (Hussein) would kill the terrorists immediately, which is like now it’s the Harvard of terrorism,” Trump said. “If you look at Iraq from years ago, I’m not saying he was a nice guy, he was a horrible guy, but it was a lot better than it is right now. Right now, Iraq is a training ground for terrorists. Right now Libya, nobody even knows Libya, frankly there is no Iraq and there is no Libya. It’s all broken up. They have no control. Nobody knows what’s going on.”

Both Gadhafi and Hussein committed atrocities against their own people and were among the world’s worst human rights abusers. NATO decided to intervene in Libya as Gadhafi appeared poised to commit a genocidal-like massacre.

But Trump said human rights abuses continue to plague Libya and Iraq and claimed, “They’re worse than they ever were.”

“People are getting their heads chopped off, they’re being drowned. Right now, they are far worse than they were, ever, under Saddam Hussein or Gadhafi,” he said.

(h/t CNN)

Reality

What Trump is praising Saddam Hussein and Moammar Gadhafi for here isn’t justice against the evil terrorists. Saddam Hussein used this tactic of labeling political dissenters and ethnic minorities as “terrorists” and disappearing them, many times without trial. This is a violation of human rights, crimes against humanity, and murder. Hussein’s atrocities are all documented at organizations like Human Rights Watch.

So this is what Trump is praising when comparing Hussein against our “weak” justice system. And if applied in the United States it would be a clear violation of the 5th and 14th amendments of the Constitution should it be applied here in the United States.

Media

Trump Praises Vladimir Putin

Two days after Vladimir Putin told the United Nations on Monday that it was an “enormous mistake” not to cooperate with the Syrian government in its fight against the Islamic State, Russian warplanes began hitting targets in the country — and not necessarily targets that were the location of Islamic State fighters.

The day after Putin’s speech, Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly asked Donald Trump what Putin was up to. “We spent $2 trillion, thousands of lives, wounded warriors all over, and Putin is now taking over what we started. He’s going into Syria. He frankly wants to fight ISIS, and I think that’s a wonderful thing.”

As for Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, Trump said that “maybe he’s better than the kind of people we’re supposed to be backing.”

Prior to that, Trump compared President Obama unfavorably to the Russian president.

“I will tell you, in terms of leadership, he’s getting an ‘A,’ and our president is not doing so well. They did not look good together.”

(h/t Washington Post)

Reality

This began a bromance between Trump and Putin, once saying Putin was was world leader he would “get along very well with.”

Republicans love Russian President Vladimir Putin. No surprises here because in the past, conservatives have heaped massive praise on Putin. Here are just a few examples.

Never-mind that he is a human-rights-abusing, political-enemy-killing, tyrant. Putin became the strong authoritarian model they have long desired in a president after 2 terms of “weak” Obama.

Media

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