Donald Trump said during a press conference Wednesday that if the Russians were listening, he hoped they could find Hillary Clinton’s deleted emails from her private server.
If Moscow did find the emails, Trump said, they would "probably be rewarded mightily by our press."
Clinton famously deleted 30,000 emails from her private server that she deemed of a personal nature. Trump’s comment appeared to be an outright bribe to the Russian government to commit a cyberattack.
Clinton campaign officials have charged that Russian President Vladimir Putin would prefer a Trump presidency and may have hacked the Democratic National Committee and released thousands of emails to that end. The email leak caused an uproar within the party, as it showed party officials scheming against the campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) to help boost Clinton.
Trump and Putin have expressed admiration for one another in the past. Although Trump has previously claimed that he spent time with Putin when they were on 60 Minutes, said he had nothing to do with the Russian president.
"I’ve never spoken to him. I don’t know anything about him other than he will respect me," Trump said. "He doesn’t respect our president. If it is Russia, which it’s probably not, nobody knows who it is, but if it is Russia, it’s really bad for a different reason, because it shows how little respect they have for our country, when they would hack into a major party and get everything."
"But it would be interesting to see ... Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press. Let’s see if that happens," he said.