- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 27, 2016

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s comments about inviting Russia to find Hillary Clinton’s lost emails spilled over into Wisconsin’s U.S. Senate race on Wednesday.

Democrat Russ Feingold had harsh words for Trump, calling him unfit to be president and questioning how much longer his Republican opponent, Sen. Ron Johnson, could support Trump. Johnson, who has said he supports but does not endorse Trump, said through a spokesman that Russia should “stay out of our elections.”

The latest dust-up came after Trump, in a news conference, encouraged Russia to get involved in American politics and find thousands of emails missing from Clinton’s private computer server.

Democrats across the country condemned the remarks and tried to use them to score political points against Republicans who have backed Trump. Some Republicans tried to distance themselves from the comments. Even Trump’s running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, took a different tack and warned of “serious consequences” if Russia interfered in the election.

House Speaker Paul Ryan’s spokesman, Brendan Buck, said “Russia is a global menace led by a devious thug” and that Russian President Vladimir Putin should stay out of this election.

Johnson fell back on those comments in his response to Trump’s unprecedented suggestion that a foreign power conduct cyber spying on an American presidential candidate.

“Ron agrees with Paul Ryan - Russia is a global menace led by a devious thug, and they should stay out of our elections,” said Johnson spokesman William Allison. Earlier on Wednesday, during a radio interview with WLS-AM, Johnson was asked if he thought Trump had the temperament to be president.

“I sure hope so,” Johnson said after a short pause.

Feingold told The Associated Press that Trump’s Russia comments show he is “an enormous threat to national security” and unfit to be president, and that anyone who believes otherwise is “flirting with danger.”

“I think this has reached the point where it’s clearly not a Democrat or Republican issue, it’s an American issue,” Feingold said. “I would say enough is enough.”


Follow Scott Bauer on Twitter at https://twitter.com/sbauerAP and find more of his work at https://bigstory.ap.org/content/scott-bauer

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