U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump says he was being "sarcastic" when he encouraged Russia to hack into the email server of his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, to find deleted emails from her years as secretary of state.
The Clinton campaign and national security experts denounced Trump, the real estate mogul seeking his first elected office, for urging Moscow on Wednesday to conduct what they said was cyber espionage on Clinton in the midst of the contentious U.S. presidential campaign.
Former Defense Secretary and CIA Director Leon Panetta told the Democratic National Convention, "It's inconceivable to me that any presidential candidate would be this irresponsible."
“It's un-American. It's a betrayal of our interests and values and it's extremely unwise for Trump to say this,” former undersecretary of state Nicholas Burns told VOA.
But asked about his comments on Fox News' "Fox & Friends" show on Thursday, Trump said, "Of course I was being sarcastic."