“Russia, if you listen, I hope you are able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you’ll probably be mightily rewarded by our press,” said the Republican candidate Donald Trump in reference to the private server his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton had when she was Secretary of State. His words have drawn great media attention and have been considered an incentive that Russia spies on the United States and engages in the illegal collection of classified documents. Had Donald Trump changed a few words of his statement that it would have had an entirely different meaning.
If he had said “if you have these 30,000 e-mails,” it could have been interpreted, despite the awkwardness, like a touch of humor about the Russians this way saying that since they actually spy on the United States, maybe they have these famous emails Hillary Clinton said she lost, maybe subsequently escaping a federal indictment thanks to some leniency. Donald Trump should thus refrain from making jokes because the media will not forgive him any slippage of that kind. Moreover, Russia remains a sensitive topic – if not a pariah country – within the US policy intelligentsia.