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 & other media of fake umbrage & intentionally taking him out of context, when he says he was just being “sarcastic” & having fun with the audience.” pic.twitter.com/0yCYO7rEMA
— Kenneth P. Vogel (@kenvogel) March 2, 2019
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.
Here is the full exchange I had with Trump after he called for Russia to find Clinton’s missing emails on July 27, 2016: pic.twitter.com/J7cC6j2iZG
— Katy Tur (@KatyTurNBC) March 2, 2019
Note that Trump was adamant in his desire to have Russia dump dirt on “crooked Hillary.”
He wasn't asking Russia to hack a private citizen. He was asking Russia to hack the SECRETARY OF STATE. The import of that always seems to get lost.
— Tracey McLean (@TmmTracey) March 2, 2019
This from the man who won’t show his tax return?!?
— Maureen Sullivan (@momostoo) March 2, 2019
Just like someone’s doddering uncle who doesn’t stop talking. But for one thing. He’s the President. And despite his lying, his behavior, and the danger he poses to this country, he has a 42% approval rating, which translates into 53% of the Senate. Frightening.
— Michael Blumenthal (@mikeblu201) March 2, 2019
There is nothing ambiguous about what Trump said.
It’s all there
— HABFoundation (@ABFalecbaldwin) March 2, 2019
Is this a preview of an” I was just joking” defense?
— Michelle Hart (@michellehart99) March 2, 2019
Astonishing. I mean it would be astonishing if we didn't already know what Trump was. He aspires to be the president of the United States and he just said Russia already has the emails and he has no problem with that.
— Phillipe de Gravaux (@DreadPhil1) March 2, 2019
Trump is a Matryoshka doll of deceit.