On Wednesday, noted misogynist Donald Trump, the Republican nominee for President of the United States, made a plea: The raccoon-haired real estate heir—and ex-reality TV host—called on Russia to hack former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
“Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 [Hillary] emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press. Let’s see if that happens, that’ll be next,” he said to a stunned group of journalists during a particularly unhinged presser.
Trump was, of course, referring to the recent DNC hack, wherein WikiLeaks published a cache of over 19,000 emails stolen from the computers of the Democratic National Committee—an act that exposed exchanges suggesting they offered Clinton preferential treatment over Bernie Sanders, and that subsequently led to the resignation of DNC honcho Debbie Wasserman Schultz. U.S. officials and top researchers believe that Russia is behind the hack, and conducted it to tip the U.S. presidential election in Trump’s favor—since Trump is a yuge fan of Vladimir Putin, has a 30-year business history with Russia including a stable of moneyed Russian investors, and his campaign aides (and surrogates) harbor direct links to the Kremlin.
The Donald was also referring to the 30,000-plus emails that Clinton deleted from the private email server she’d used while Secretary of State, alleging they touched on personal matters unrelated to issues of state. Clinton was cleared of any wrongdoing in emailgate by the FBI, though Trump and his supporters remain unconvinced.
Now that we’ve got all that out of the way, on Wednesday night’s post-DNC live edition of Real Time, comedian Bill Maher—who is no fan of Trump’s—criticized Trump for asking Russia to commit cyberterrorism against his general election opponent (which, by the way, may be a felony).
“The part of this scandal that was actually a scandal was that the Democratic National Committee’s emails were hacked by Russia, and Trump today was calling on Russia to now hack Hillary’s emails,” said Maher during his monologue. “A U.S. presidential nominee encouraging Russia to commit espionage? Donald Trump: the voice of treason.” “It just looks so crazy,” he continued. “First of all, Trump is always talking about how much he loves Putin. He said today he won’t tell Putin what to do—he tells everybody else! He takes Russia’s side against NATO. I mean, fuck! What is all this? He’s always taking Russia’s side. Plainly, Trump is a Russian agent. I mean, I don’t know it for a fact, but a lot of people are saying it… Oh yes, Donald Trump: the spy who loved himself. But, you know, being president is not a joke. If this doesn’t prove that, I don’t know what does.”
The HBO host addressed the Trump-Russia connection—and his treason-adjacent ask—again during the panel portion of the show, pointing out that if Hillary Clinton had done the same, requesting that a hostile foreign actor commit cyberterrorism against her opponent, she’d be absolutely crucified and potentially be branded a traitor.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen what Donald Trump said today, which was he is encouraging a foreign country to commit cyber espionage and hack into the political opponents [sic] of one team here in the United States,” said a stunned Maher. “What if Hillary did that? What if Hillary had said, ‘You know what, we’ve been trying to get Donald Trump to release his tax returns and he won’t. Hey, Russia, if you’re listening, would you hack him?’”
Needless to say, the GOP would not be pleased. Maher then made a plea of his own, calling on the Republican Party to denounce their volatile nominee before it’s too late.
“Where are the other Republicans to condemn this? These Vichy Republicans?” asked Maher. “How many things does [Trump] have to do? I mean, every week it’s something else, and one week is worse than the other.”