WASHINGTON – Hillary Clinton reacted incredulously Thursday to President Donald Trump’s assertion that she conspired with the Russians to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.
“Seriously, you asked Russia to hack me on national television,” Clinton responded on Twitter.
The former secretary of State was reacting to an NBC News story that quoted Trump as saying at a Wednesday night campaign rally that “there was collusion between Hillary, the Democrats and Russia.”
“There was a lot of collusion with them and Russia and lots of other people,” Trump said at the Pennsylvania rally, without offering any details.
Clinton’s response was referring to Trump’s comments at a July 2016 news conference in which he asked Russia to hack Clinton’s emails from her time as secretary of State and make them public.
“Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” Trump said at the 2016 news conference, referring to emails Clinton had deleted from her private account.
Special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin to influence the 2016 election. U.S. intelligence agencies concluded in a January 2017 report that Russia interfered in the election in an effort to help Trump and hurt Clinton. The Senate Judiciary Committee this year issued bipartisan findings that agreed with that report.
However, Trump and some of his conservative allies in Congress have alleged that the Clinton campaign, the FBI and the Department of Justice conspired to tie the Trump campaign to the Russian government’s actions.
They often cite the Clinton campaign’s funding of background research on Trump that produced a “dossier” compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele. The dossier contained unsubstantiated allegations that Trump engaged in sexual activity with prostitutes on a business trip to Russia before he was a candidate for president.