Russia has denounced US Republican nominee Donald Trump’s call for a hack into his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton’s email, and dismissed allegations that Russians were behind a wave of cyber attacks aimed at the Democratic National Committee (DNC).
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday that the claims about Russia’s involvement in the leaked DNC emails were based on “total stupidity” and were motivated by anti-Russian sentiment.
While Russia stands accused of hacking emails from the DNC for Trump’s benefit, both Russia and the billionaire categorically deny the allegations.
The FBI and other counter-intelligence agencies involved in the probe of the DNC hacking have not yet officially attributed the cyber attack to hackers allied with Russia.
Last week, the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks released about 20,000 emails from the DNC that revealed a plot by top Democrats to try and smear Clinton’s rival, Bernie Sanders.
The Kremlin spokesman also rejected Trump’s suggestion for Russia to recover 30,000 emails Clinton deleted from her private email server during her tenure as secretary of state.
“As regards these (email) batches, that is not our headache. We never poke our noses into others’ affairs and we really don’t like it when people try to poke their nose into ours,” he said, adding, “The Americans need to get to the bottom of what these emails are themselves and find out what it’s all about,” he said.
The senior Russian diplomat further noted that Trump’s remark would not change Moscow’s “neutral stance” on US presidential candidates.
“We know perfectly well that candidates in the heat of a pre-election struggle say one thing, but that later, when under the weight of responsibility, their rhetoric becomes more balanced,” Peskov stated.
On Wednesday, Trump raised eyebrows when he said he would welcome Russian hackers to hack his presidential rival, and search for the 30,000 “missing” documents.
“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,” the US Republican presidential nominee said.
Trump later wrote on his Twitter page that if “Russia or any other country or person” has Clinton’s “illegally deleted emails,” they should hand them over to the FBI.
He, however, sought in an interview on Thursday morning to downplay his initial comments, saying he was being “sarcastic” in asking Russia to “find” Clinton’s emails.