Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has instigated Russia for cyber hacking against his rival Hillary Clinton before the elections, Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine alleged on Saturday.
“It was during the week of the convention in Philadelphia Donald Trump took a stage and he said I would encourage cyber-hackers. Russia, see if you can find information on Hillary Clinton that will help me win. That was shocking. Later, when he was challenged about it, he (Trump) said, well, I was just being sarcastic,” Kaine told CBS News in an interview on Saturday.
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“I don’t think it’s funny when you have a nation like Russia that has engaged in activity to destabilise elections in countries, Ukraine, Estonia, they have engaged in that activity, and somebody running to be president of the US shouldn’t be encouraging another nation to cyber-hack the US,” he said, adding Russia has to face consequences for this.
“I have not talked with Hillary about this, but there does need to be a consequence,” Kaine said.
When a foreign nation tries to destabilise an American election, which is what Donald Trump encouraged back in late July, Kaine said, “hey, Russia, go see if you can cyber-hack and find things that will help me win, but when a foreign government tries to do this, there has to be a consequence”.
“There will be time for figuring that – what that consequence is, but you can’t let it go unchallenged, because, if you do, you just encourage more of it,” Kaine said.
He alleged that these emails being leaked by WikiLeaks are an attempt to destabilise the nation.
“Not only are these e-mails an effort by WikiLeaks and Russia to try to destabilise our election, but, second, you can’t assume that they’re all accurate. One of the e-mails that came up this week referred to me. It was completely inaccurate. And I don’t know whether it was inaccurate because the sender didn’t know what he or she was talking about or it had been doctored.
“But anybody who is going to try to cyber-attack and then try to destabilise an election, you can’t trust that they’re going to maintain scrupulous honesty about the content of what they’re dumping out for the world to see,” Kaine said.
Appearing before another Sunday talk show, Kaine acknowledged that the race is close.
“Yes, it is close. I’ll tell you, I’m used to this. I’m from Virginia. All of our races are close. I’ve been saying from the beginning that I thought this would be a close election,” Kaine told Fox news.
Meanwhile, the Republican party’s vice presidential nominee Mike Pence said that there should be severe consequences to Russia or any other country for compromising the privacy and security of the United States.
“I think there’s no question that the evidence continues to point in that direction, and we should follow it where it leads. There should be severe consequences to Russia or any sovereign nation that is compromising the privacy or the security of the United States of America,” he said.
“Donald Trump more than a month ago gathered a group of some of the leading cybersecurity experts in this country and announced our plans to strengthen the security of this country on the Internet. And we will do that,” he said responding to questions on alleged cyber hacking by Russia.
Pence said the race has tightened.
Responding to allegations of sexual harassment against Trump that has been coming in the past few days, Pence claimed that these are unsubstantiated.
“I know there have been unsubstantiated allegations that have been made, but Donald Trump has made it clear that he categorically denies those allegations. And we’re going to continue to focus this campaign on, frankly, where the people of this country are focused,” he told CBS news in an interview.