Donald Trump's presidential re-election campaign will not commit to refraining from the use of hacked political material, which helped them win the 2016 election.
Their refusal to rule out the use of hacked information from criminals and foreign enemies like Russia "is a contrast to a Democratic presidential field who have promised not to," NBC News reports.
Special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian attacks on the 2016 U.S. election found the Russian government not only interfered in the 2016 race in "sweeping and systematic fashion," but worked to make Trump win.
Mueller's report said the Trump team expected to "benefit electorally from information stolen and released through Russian efforts."
From NBC News:
In February, the field of Democratic presidential hopefuls all declared they would not take advantage of illegally obtained information. Most of those campaigns (including Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey; Bernie Sanders of Vermont; Kamala Harris of California; Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota; Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts; and former HUD Secretary Julián Castro) have confirmed to NBC News that their positions remain unchanged.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke — who hadn't formally announced in February — have also committed to not using stolen or hacked information.
In February, the Trump campaign chose not to state their position on using such information and, on Wednesday, neither the campaign nor the Republican National Committee responded to repeated requests for comment.
This week, DNC Chairman Tom Perez asked his counterpart at the RNC, Ronna McDaniel, to commit to the same cybersecurity platform heading into 2020.
"As the leaders of our country's two largest political parties, we have a responsibility to protect the integrity of our democratic process," he wrote. "That's why I urge you to join me in condemning the weaponization of stolen private data in our electoral process."
The White House did not immediately respond to questions about future use of such material, but when asked about denouncing future Russian interference, spokesman Hogan Gidley pointed to the president's past statements. Trump has not pledged to stay away from using any kind of hacked or stolen data in the coming cycle.
potentially the most significant political news of the day: the vice president of the United States declining to rule out being at least an indirect participant in a possible Russian attack on America as part of the 2020 elections https://t.co/rjrmwDp76z
— Edward-Isaac Dovere (@IsaacDovere) April 24, 2019