Donald Trump on Wednesday called on Russia to hack Hillary Clinton's email.
"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," Trump said during a news conference in Florida.
Shortly after his press conference event ended, Trump repeated his call on Twitter.
"If Russia or any other country or person has Hillary Clinton's 33,000 illegally deleted emails, perhaps they should share them with the FBI!" Trump tweeted.
Clinton's campaign said Trump's comments amounted to encouraging "a foreign power to conduct espionage."
"This has to be the first time a major presidential candidate has actively encouraged a foreign power to conduct espionage against his political opponent," said Hillary for America senior policy adviser Jake Sullivan. "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."
Trump's comments represented a stunning twist in a controversy about Russia's alleged intervention in the presidential election after the release of Democratic Party emails, which appeared to show that party leaders were tilting the playing field against Clinton's Democratic primary opponent Bernie Sanders. U.S. officials have said the emails were hacked from DNC servers in an operation originating in Russia that appeared to be linked to Moscow's intelligence agency.
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