DORAL, Fla.--Just three days after the Democratic National Committee's email was hacked--which cyber experts say appears to have been by Russians--the Republican presidential nominee is calling on the foreign power to hack his opponent's email server.
Republican Donald Trump called on Wednesday for Russia to infiltrate Hillary Clinton's email server to find the missing emails, an unprecedented suggestion to a foreign power to conduct cyberspying on a presidential candidate.
"Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing," said Trump at a press conference Wednesday. "I think you'll be rewarded mightily by our press!"
He added that the server probably probably contains "some beauties."
He later repeatedly declined to condemn any international attempt to hack into Clinton's account.
Hillary Clinton's campaign is denouncing Trump's call for Russia or any other foreign power to attempt to recover the Democratic presidential nominee's missing emails.
Jake Sullivan, a senior policy adviser to the Clinton campaign, responded by saying "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."
"That's not hyperbole, those are just the facts," Sullivan said in a statement. "This has gone from being a matter of curiosity, and a matter of politics, to being a national security issue."
Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy took an even stronger stance against Trump's comments, calling them "treasonous."
"I don’t know what the legal definition of treason is but this is really extraordinary that he is inviting a foreign government, an adversary of the United States to try to play a role in his election," Murphy told FOX 61 on Wednesday.
Murphy added that the country should take what Trump said seriously "because it points to the administration he's going to lead. He seems to be inviting and open relationship, a level of coordination with Vladimir Putin would be extraordinary, ground breaking and incredibly damaging to world order."
Meanwhile, it seems Trump and his running mate, Mike Pence, are sending some mixed signals fewer than two weeks into their partnership.
Pence said in a statement Wednesday that there should be "serious consequences" if Russia is found to be interfering in the U.S. electoral process, referring to the publishing of internal DNC emails by WikiLeaks last week, which revealed that the DNC favored Clinton's candidacy over rival Bernie Sanders. The incident triggered a leadership shakeup within the DNC.
"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," Pence said in a statement responding to the breach of Democratic National Committee computers.
Trump dismissed the claims that Russia hacked the DNC, saying it's not clear who hacked those emails, but the incident is a sign that foreign countries no longer respect the U.S.
"If it's any foreign country it shows how little respect they have for the United States," said Trump, who added that he was "not an email person myself because I believe it can be hacked."
Trump also said he has no relationship to Russian President Vladimir Putin and does not know if Russia or some other country, such as China, is responsible for the DNC breach.