— -- A Rhode Island congressman penned a letter to President Obama asking him to withhold classified intelligence from Republican president nominee Donald Trump following comments he made encouraging Russia to hack Hillary Clinton's emails.
U.S. Representative David Cicilline (D-RI), a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, made the request to Obama on Wednesday and tweeted the letter to his roughly 4,500 followers.
"As the Republican nominee for president, Donald Trump will presumably be eligible for this courtesy in the near future," wrote Cicilline. "However, Mr. Trump urged Russian intelligence services to conduct cyber espionage operations into the correspondence of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton."
Cicilline wrote that Trump's "call for hostile foreign action represents a step beyond mere partisan politics and represents a threat to the Republic itself."
"With this in mind, I respectfully ask that you withhold the intelligence briefing to Mr. Trump in the interests of national security," Cicilline concluded.
During a Wednesday morning press conference at his gold club in Doral, Florida, Trump said: "Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing."
Clinton came under investigation for her use of a personal email server while she was secretary of state. After turning over to the FBI all correspondence about government business during her years at the State Department, Clinton revealed at a press conference last year that she had deleted about half of her emails that pertained to personal matters. Attorney General Loretta Lynch ultimately decided not to pursue criminal charges against Clinton.
Trump's senior communications adviser, Jason Miller, attempted to walk back on Trump's remarks saying he didn't call or invite Russia to hack Clinton's emails.
Since 1952, Democratic and Republican presidential candidates have traditionally received intelligence briefings after securing their party's nomination.
A senior intelligence official told ABC News Trump and Clinton will begin receiving classified intelligence briefings soon after this week's Democratic convention.