Clinton says Trump needs to admit, condemn Russian involvement in election hacks

Clinton on WikiLeaks and Russian espionage

Hillary Clinton said the most important question of the final debate is whether Donald Trump will admit the Russian government has been involved in recent cyberattacks.

"The most important question of this evening is, finally, will Donald Trump admit and condemn that the Russians are doing this and make it clear that he will not have the help of [Russian President Vladimir] Putin in this election, that he rejects Russian espionage against Americans — which he actually encouraged in the past? Those are the questions we need answered," she said at Wednesday night's debate, after being asked about her position on open borders.

Trump responded by saying Clinton made a "great pivot off the fact that she wants open borders," sparking chuckles from the audience. The New York billionaire went on to deny that he knows Putin, adding that the Russian president once "said nice things" about him.

"If we got along well, that would be good," Trump said.

The Republican nominee asserted that Putin doesn't respect President Barack Obama or Clinton. She fired back that Putin would prefer to have Trump as a "puppet president." Despite Trump's repeated claim that he doesn't have a relationship with the Russian president, he said in 2014 he has spoken "indirectly and directly" with Putin.

Earlier this month, U.S. intelligence officials said they are "confident" that the Russian government directed cyberattacks against American political organizations. They also said the hacks were "intended to interfere with the U.S. election process."

"We've never had anything like this happen in any of our elections before," Clinton said.

The former secretary of state criticized WikiLeaks for enabling Russian hackers and their attempts to interfere in the election. Clinton said people should understand that WikiLeaks is involved in these Russian cyberattacks.

"They have hacked American websites, American accounts of private people, of institutions, then they have given that information to WikiLeaks for the purpose of putting it on the internet," she said.