Donald Trump had one of his most buzzworthy news conferences yet on Wednesday, fielding questions on Israel, immigration, and the recent police shooting deaths of two black men to Florida's algae problem. But the "most colorful" parts, per the Miami Herald, came when Trump tried to tie together Hillary Clinton's email issues, hacked DNC emails released Friday by WikiLeaks, and Russia, which the Clinton camp says was behind the DNC hack to bolster Trump (an assessment experts have said looks likely, per Politico). "Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing," Trump said, posting a similar tweet a short time later. "I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.” When an NBC reporter prodded Trump on whether he was asking the US' one-time biggest foe to hack Clinton, Trump replied, "That's up to the president" before telling her to "be quiet," per the New York Times.
Some on Twitter asked if Trump's request—which the Times called "an extraordinary moment"—amounted to treason, and reaction from Clinton's side was swift. "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," adviser Jake Sullivan says. "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." VP nominee Mike Pence helped Trump double down, adding that Democrats are hyperfocusing on the source rather than "the basic fact that they've been exposed as a party" that "rigs" elections. Politico lists other Trump lines from the presser, including remarks about "sleazeball" and "pervert" Anthony Weiner, noting, "I don't know who Putin is. He said one nice thing about me. … I never met Putin."