Tags: Donald Trump | Hillary Clinton | Russia | Trump | Clinton | Russia | Missing Emails

Trump: 'I'm Being Sarcastic' With Plea to Russia

(Fox News/YouTube)

By    |   Thursday, 28 July 2016 08:45 AM

GOP nominee Donald Trump insists in a Fox News interview that he was being "sarcastic" when he called Wednesday for the Russian government to locate Hillary Clinton's missing 33,000 emails, while complaining about the revelations in a leaked series of Democratic National Committee emails.

"Of course, I'm being sarcastic," Trump told Fox News' Brian Kilmeade in an interview recorded after his press conference. "You have 33,000 emails deleted, and the real problem is what was said in those emails from the Democratic National Committee. You look at what was said in the emails, it's disgraceful."

On Wednesday, Trump drew criticism and headlines by commenting during a press conference during questions over allegations that Russia was involved in the leak of the DNC emails to WikiLeaks.

"I will tell you this: Russia, if you're listening I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing," Trump said, referring not to the DNC emails but to communications that went missing from Clinton's private server.

"I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press."

Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook complained that Trump's call created a "national security" issue by "calling for a foreign power to commit espionage in the United States."

"You have to be kidding," Trump told Kilmeade about Mook's statement. "His client, his person deleted 33,000 emails illegally. You look at that."

His comments also brought a complaint from Clinton's top foreign policy advisor, Jake Sullivan, who said it was the first time "a major presidential candidate has actively asked a foreign power to conduct espionage."

"I didn't encourage them," said Trump. "It was said with sarcasm. I don't know who has them. I don't know. It's sad that a foreign country disrespects us so much that they would do that."

Trump also doubled down on his comments about Russian President Vladimir Putin's leadership skills.

"I said he's a better leader than Obama," said Trump. "Obama is not a leader. [Putin is] doing a better job [than him]. You have to understand Putin, if we can get along with Russia, that's a good thing, not a bad thing. We don't get along with Russia."

Russia has continued its aggressive activities, said Kilmeade, but Trump said that is happening because Putin and other Russian leaders "have no respect for our leader. That's why they do it. They have no respect."

But such acts wouldn't happen under his presidency, said Trump, as "I think they'll respect me. They don't respect President Barack Obama."

He wouldn't comment, though, if he'd answer to Putin with force.

"I'm not going to tell you what I'd do," said Trump. "Isn't that crazy? I'd tell you what I'd do? You react at the time. They said, 'We'll do this, we'll attack here, send this many men.' No, no. You have to keep it a little bit secret. Got to keep it a little bit secret. You have to have it to yourself a little bit."

Kilmeade also asked Trump to clear the record on some of his past controversies, including eliciting a "yeah" from him when he asked if Sen. John McCain was a war hero.

Trump also denied mocking New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski's muscular disability condition, an incident that has come up again though advertising for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

"I didn't know who the reporter was," Trump told Kilmeade, saying he'd cited Kovalski's story about Muslims "dancing on the streets or dancing on the roofs or whatever" after the 9/11 attacks.

"Then all of a sudden, he took the story back, he was groveling," said Trump. "He didn't know how to answer it. He was trying to say that the story was wrong. I had no idea what he looked like. He said he met me and I knew. He said I met him in 1908s. I had no idea.

"I spend millions of dollars for those with disabilities do you think I'd do that? So I do that and they said I was mocking his disability. I had no idea he was disabled."

Trump also pulled back on another statement used in the Clinton ad, in which he was quoted as saying Mexicans who come across the border are criminals.

"I said they come across, in many cases they are drug dealers . . . Of course not all. Do you think everybody is that way? I didn't say that," said Trump.

He also discussed his call for banning Muslims from coming into the United States without vetting.

"There are certain territories that are very, very bad," he told Kilmeade. "Very, very bad. I don't want them in this country. We're not going to let people from Syria come into the country and who knows what's going to happen.

"When I look at France with the priest, when I look at all of the things that are happening, we're not going to let that happen to this country."

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GOP nominee Donald Trump insists in a Fox News interview that he was being "sarcastic" when he called Wednesday for the Russian government to locate Hillary Clinton's missing 33,000 emails...
Trump, Clinton, Russia, Missing Emails, Hack
Thursday, 28 July 2016 08:45 AM
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