Donald Trump must be the only candidate for president ever to have spoken favorably of the prospect that another nation would attack us. If that’s not a qualitative disqualifier for the presidency, what is?
Last month, the FBI completed its inquiry into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server for her e-mail, and concluded that some mails, possibly including some confidential documents, could have been vulnerable to foreign hackers. (There’s been no clear evidence that any of it actually was hacked.) Separately, servers at the Democratic National Committee were hacked and a number of messages were pulled, and wound up at Wikileaks, which in turn released many of them. A swarm of investigators, both public and private, researched the hack and arrived at a strong probability that a pair of Russian intelligence organizations had broken in.
Trump, while saying he didn’t know whether Russians were behind the hack, added, “If they hacked, they probably have her 33,000 emails. I hope they do.”
And then: “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.”
This deserves making the point finely. Here we have a candidate for president who specifically said he “hopes” an adversarial government has obtained through theft sensitive documents from the government of the United States.
This stunned, and rightly, officials from both political parties. House Speaker Paul Ryan probably more closely expressed what most Americans were thinking: “Russia is a global menace led by a devious thug. Putin should stay out of this election.”
Others went further. William Inboden, a National Security Council member in the George W. Bush administration, described Trump’s remarks as “tantamount to treason,” and “Trump’s appeal for a foreign government hostile to the United States to manipulate our electoral process is not an assault on Hillary Clinton, it is an assault on the Constitution.”
Or, as veteran reporter Carl Bernstein said on CNN, “Today we have reached a tipping point in this election. This is a disqualifying event for a president of the United States. … It ought to be apparent to all, and the Democrats should be able to make the case, that he is manifestly unsuited to be the president of the United States because of his recklessness with the national security.”Share on Facebook