On Wednesday, Donald Trump held one of his patented Bizarro Press Conferences, in which he sounded off on everything like a Breitbart commenter (or member of the editorial staff, for that matter) on speed. During the course of that press conference, he dropped one line that got the media’s ire going: “It would be interesting to see, I will tell you this, Russia, if you’re listening I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.”
This drove Democrats up a wall.
Hillary foreign policy advisor Jake Sullivan said, “This has gone from being a matter of curiosity, and a matter of politics, to being a national security issue.” Former CIA Director Leon Panetta, who served under a president who promised Russia “flexibility” after his re-election, complained, “it’s inconceivable to me that any presidential candidate would be this irresponsible.” Retired Rear Admiral John Hutson said, “This morning, he personally invited Russia to hack us. That’s not law and order. That’s criminal intent.” Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) said, “Anyone who cares about US national security should be truly alarmed about the possibility that this man could be our president.”
This is rather a surprising turn from the same Democrats who claimed just weeks ago that Hillary’s deleted emails contained nothing classified or even important. According to Hillary, those 30,000 missing emails were just about yoga and Chelsea’s wedding dress. So why would it be a national security threat if Vladimir Putin were to get hold of them?
And if it is a national security threat for Putin to have Hillary’s emails, why isn’t Hillary being prosecuted for – as Panetta put it – being “this irresponsible”? After all, she, not Trump, created a private server vulnerable to foreign hack for the obvious purpose of hiding information from the American public and transmitting classified information. Yes, Trump’s a clod for saying he hopes Putin has the information – presumably, Putin could have information that puts Americans in danger. But Trump’s cloddishness is nothing next to the fact of the thing: that Hillary Clinton took actions that exposed America’s national security to the tender mercies of Vladimir Putin.
Democrats are now stuck between a rock and a hard place. Either what Hillary did wasn’t a big deal -- in which case their response to Trump should be, “It wouldn’t matter even if Putin had her emails. What’s he going to do with yoga RSVPs?” – or what Hillary did was an enormous deal, in which case Hillary should be the candidate on the chopping block.
I don’t think Trump was playing 4D chess with his comments, mainly because I doubt Trump knows that the horsey in chess jumps in an L. But whether he did it purposefully or not, he just exposed the Democrats for what they are: liars and opportunists with America’s national security.