An online activist group is petitioning to keep Donald Trump out of security briefings after the Republican presidential candidate said he hopes Russian hackers get into rival candidate Hillary Clinton's email.
Credo Action is seeking 75,000 signatures urging national intelligence Director James Clapper to not allow Trump to be privy to classified information after Trump said Wednesday he wishes Russia will find 30,000 personal emails that his Democratic challenger deleted from her term as secretary of state.
"I will tell you this -- 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," said Trump during a press conference in Miami.
In response, Credo, which has more than 62,000 signatures in its online petition early Thursday, said Trump is encouraging Russian President Vladimir Putin to "commit espionage and publicize state secrets," posing a serious national security concern and possibly violating federal laws.
"This cannot happen. We need to raise a massive outcry now," the group said. "This unprecedented action is even more horrifying given that Trump is scheduled to start receiving classified national security briefings, reportedly as early as this Friday."
Credo's stance comes after it and another group, ColorOfChange had been pressuring 15 major companies to cancel or limit their participation in last week's Republican National Convention in Cleveland where Trump was officially named the GOP's presidential nominee.
The Trump campaign didn't immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday. Trump has rejected any notions he has ties to Russia amid allegations its government hacked internal emails at the Democratic National Committee to help elect him as president.
"I have nothing to do with Russia," he said.
Update, July 28 at 9:45 a.m. PT: Updates number of signatures in petition.