DORAL, FL - "Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.” That was Donald Trump in Florida Wednesday, but now he says he's was just joking when he urged Vlad Putin's cyber spies to hack into Hillary Clinton’s email servers.
Trump was attempting to expose how weak cyber security is in the U.S.
And of course, exhibit A is those thousands of missing emails on then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton unsecured server. Something the FBI basically called stupid.
But Trump went off message fast when he asked Putin’s posse to hack his opponent’s computers
“He asked the Russians to interfere in American politics...think about that for a moment,” said former Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta.
“He personally invited Russia to hack us! That's not law and order. That's criminal intent!” said retired Rear Adm. John Hutson.
And to be fair - in an interview on Fox News - Trump claims he was being sarcastic.
“Mr. Trump has a difficult time actually sounding sarcastic, he has obviously a problem with the ability to convey the subtleties of humor at times,” says Dr. Jon Taylor, Chair and Professor of Political Science at the University of St. Thomas.
But not everyone thinks he was joking.
“He wasn't being sarcastic yesterday about Russia. He was responding impulsively, reactively, without thinking, which is what he does,” says Tony Schwartz, co-author of “The Art of the Deal.”
Sarcasm or not, it seems like an attempt to keep Hillary’s email server relevant backfired, and the Kremlin connection conspiracy theorists just added a little more tinfoil to their hats.