President Donald Trump on Saturday tried to downplay the time he asked Russia to hack and release Hillary Clinton's emails during a long, bizarre speech at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).
As the audience chanted "lock her up," Trump claimed he was being "sarcastic" and was merely "having fun with the audience" when he said that Russia would be "rewarded mightily by our press" if they found a way to publish Clinton's emails.
"So everybody's having a good time laughing, we're all having fun," Trump incorrectly recalled, "and then that fake CNN and others say, 'he asked Russia to go get the emails.' These people are sick."
QUITE A RIFF HERE: Trump at @cpac revisits his 2016 call for Russia to hack @HillaryClinton’s emails, accusing @cnn… https://t.co/FnM82v09W6— Kenneth P. Vogel (@Kenneth P. Vogel) 1551548261.0
If Trump thinks he can get away with such a gross rewrite of history, he is sorely mistaken.
Trump, the GOP nominee, said the following at a news conference in Florida on July 27, 2016:
“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.”
The following day, intelligence officials told NBC News that Russia had stolen 20,000 emails belonging to top officials at the Democratic National Committee, including those of Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman, John Podesta.
NBC's Katy Tur has the receipts of the exchange between Trump and herself in which Trump asked Russia, plain as day, to hack his political opponent.
@kenvogel @CPAC @HillaryClinton @CNN Here is the full exchange I had with Trump after he called for Russia to find… https://t.co/zzUieXELU1— Katy Tur (@Katy Tur) 1551550629.0
Note that Trump was adamant in his desire to have Russia dump dirt on "crooked Hillary."
@KatyTurNBC @kenvogel @CPAC @HillaryClinton @CNN He wasn't asking Russia to hack a private citizen. He was asking R… https://t.co/cVJvxkTKX1— Tracey McLean (@Tracey McLean) 1551551198.0
@kenvogel @CPAC @HillaryClinton @CNN Just like someone’s doddering uncle who doesn’t stop talking. But for one thin… https://t.co/ZY2iyM4DQN— Michael Blumenthal (@Michael Blumenthal) 1551556014.0
There is nothing ambiguous about what Trump said.
@kenvogel @CPAC @HillaryClinton @CNN It’s all there— HABFoundation (@HABFoundation) 1551554285.0
@kenvogel @maggieNYT @CPAC @HillaryClinton @CNN Is this a preview of an” I was just joking” defense?— Michelle Hart (@Michelle Hart) 1551549242.0
@KatyTurNBC @kenvogel @CPAC @HillaryClinton @CNN Astonishing. I mean it would be astonishing if we didn't already k… https://t.co/e3vn4jefjN— Phillipe de Gravaux (@Phillipe de Gravaux) 1551551065.0
Trump is a Matryoshka doll of deceit.
No one was laughing then, and no one is laughing now -except for Vladimir Putin, maybe.
@KatyTurNBC @kenvogel @CPAC @HillaryClinton @CNN How does he keep his pants from being on fire? That is a genuine talent.— Steven Sundook (@Steven Sundook) 1551557327.0
@kenvogel @CPAC @HillaryClinton @CNN Nothing sarcastic about this exchange @KatyTurNBC pressed him on this and Trum… https://t.co/J07llfOR8d— KeithLeBlanc (@KeithLeBlanc) 1551622195.0
Does this mean Trump wants us to believe he faked collusion for fun? That is one ballsy defense.
@kenvogel @CPAC @HillaryClinton @CNN Asking a foreign adversary to infiltrate a presidential campaign now qualifies as “just having fun”?— Barbara C (@Barbara C) 1551556404.0
@KatyTurNBC @kenvogel @CPAC @HillaryClinton @CNN He’s like a car thief who leaves his driver’s license with the dea… https://t.co/gJLIHHBgHD— Jothankful McPilgrim 🦃🧙🏼♀️ (@Jothankful McPilgrim 🦃🧙🏼♀️) 1551552132.0
@EdKamen @kenvogel @maggieNYT @CPAC @HillaryClinton @CNN Oh he has never cared about contradicting himself because… https://t.co/ABvW9kDHtw— etherspin (@etherspin) 1551560543.0
"But her emails" just took on a whole new meaning.