Republicans and Fox News rush to defend Trump's appeal to Russian hackers: "It's a continuation of Obama policy"

Fox News' Bret Baier quickly wrote Trump's insanity off as a "joke," while other conservatives deflected to Clinton

By Sophia Tesfaye
July 27, 2016 11:10PM (UTC)
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Donald Trump successfully managed to steal the thunder from Democrats before the start of the third day of the DNC, holding one of the most bizarre press conferences in modern political history.

Here is what the Republican presidential nominee had to say about allegations that the hack of DNC emails may be linked to Russian state actors:


If it is Russia, which it’s probably not, nobody knows who it is. But if it is Russia, it’s really bad for a different reason. Because it shows how little respect they have for our country where they would hack into a major party and get everything. But 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. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.

Yup, that's Trump there openly calling for the deliberate espionage of his political opponent by the Russian government.

And because they are apparently incapable of shame and instinctually hypocritical, Trump's Republican and media backers leapt into action in his defense. Their lame excuses fall into a some general categories:

This was actually just an overblown joke: 


Over on Fox News, anchor Bret Baier was either too shocked by or attempting to downplay Trump's ask of the Russian government.

"I think, was joking when he looked to the camera and said, "Russia, find these Hillary Clinton emails. The media would like that, will reward you for it," Baeir said shortly after the bizarre presser ended.

Clinton was wrong to operate a private server. Therefore, Trump's call for an adversarial foreign government to release hacked information is acceptable: 


This is President Obama's fault: 

This is all an elaborate distraction orchestrated by the Clinton campaign: 

This is the librul media's fault:  

If the media had not spent 2012 mocking Mitt Romney for his “gaffe” of saying that Russia was our biggest geopolitical threat, if they had cared when Ted Kennedy asked the Soviets to intervene in the 1984 Democratic primary, if they briefly interrupted worship at Barack Obama’s feet when he made hot-mic promises to Russians, and so on and so forth, this would be a different story.

Sophia Tesfaye

Sophia Tesfaye is Salon's senior editor for news and politics, and resides in Washington, D.C. You can find her on Twitter at @SophiaTesfaye.

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