Trump eggs on Russian email hackers. What must David Kernell think?

072716blog trump press conference
Credit: REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

Do you remember David Kernell? If not, we’ll get back to him in a second.

First, the Republican nominee for president of the United States, Donald Trump, this morning cheered Russian cybercriminals who are alleged to have hacked his Democratic opponent’s email and urged them to make public whatever they have stolen. Trump did this not over beers but in front of reporters at a press conference, after which he scolded one of the reporters to “be quiet” after she had the temerity to press him on whether a presidential candidate should be encouraging cybercrime.

From a report on Talking Points Memo:

"By the way, if they hacked, they probably have her 33,000 emails. I hope they do," the GOP nominee told reporters, referring to Russia, who security experts suspect was behind the hack. "They probably have her 33,000 emails that she lost and deleted."

He also addressed the country directly: "Russia, if you're listening, I hope you can find the 33,000 emails that are missing."

Cheering and egging on criminals: That this is yet another example of the man’s unfitness for any leadership position whatsoever – never mind leader of the free world – should go without saying.

So let’s get back to David Kernell, who as you may recall, in 2008 guessed his way into the private email account of then-Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. A 20-year-old college student at the time, Kernell was caught, convicted and sentenced to a year behind bars.

Try to imagine the uproar if prior to Kernell getting into Palin’s email the then-Democratic candidate for president, Barack Obama, had urged hackers to target his opponents and make public whatever they might find.

It’s impossible to imagine such an uproar, I know, because it’s impossible to imagine any presidential candidate acting in such a reckless manner.

Or at least it was impossible until today.

What David Kernell did to Sarah Palin may have been more clearly illegal (assuming what Trump did is not.)

But what Donald Trump – no college kid -- just did is a thousand times more irresponsible, a thousand times more dangerous to the integrity of our democratic election process, and, all that any thinking supporter of his should need to reconsider that position.

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