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Pence Breaks With Trump On Russian Hacking

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Saagar Enjeti White House Correspondent
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Republican Vice Presidential Nominee Gov. Mike Pence issued a statement saying Russia should face “serious consequences” if it hacked the Democratic National Committee, at nearly the exact same time Republican Nominee Donald Trump told reporters “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.”

Trump continued, “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”

Pence’s statement by contrast reads, “If it is Russia and they are interfering in our elections, I can assure you both parties and the United States government will ensure there are serious consequences.” Espionage, it should be noted, in all forms, is widely considered fair game in the international world. Trump’s comments, even in jest, go a step further by appearing to encourage a foreign power’s hacking of an American in office.

Trump doubled down shortly after the press conference, tweeting “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!”

Reports now indicate U.S. intelligence agencies have told the White House they now assess with “high confidence” that Russia was responsible for hacking the Democratic National Committee’s email server. Trump told reporters if Russia is behind the hack it only exhibits the weakness of the Obama administration, and that when he was in office respect for America by Putin would be restored.

When asked explicitly whether he would call on Putin not to meddle in the U.S. Presidential election he again demurred saying “I’m not going to tell Putin what to do.” The comment again contrasts significantly with Pence’s statement which unequivocally condemns any meddling by Russia in U.S. elections.

Pence continues, “The American people now have absolute and further proof of the corruption that exists around Hillary Clinton. It should disqualify her from office, if the media did their job.”

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