Hillary Clinton’s campaign on Thursday continued to hammer Donald Trump over his Russia remarks, saying his attempts to belatedly cast them as sarcastic are too late to undo the damage.
They also blasted what they called “Mr. Trump’s own disturbing affinity” for Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.
“Running for president is not a joke,” Clinton spokeswoman Jennifer Palmieri said at a campaign briefing on the final day of the Democratic National Convention.
Trump, as the “Republican candidate for president,” must be held “accountable” for his remarks, she said.
A day earlier, Trump at a news conference said: “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.”
Democrats said Trump essentially was encouraging a foreign power to commit espionage and meddle in U.S. elections, showing he lacked the judgment and temperament to serve.
Rep. Steve Israel (D-Dix Hills) said the comments “bordered on treason.” After sharp reactions, Trump and his campaign team said the comments were sarcastic and meant to highlight the controversy over Clinton using a private email server while working as secretary of state.
Palmieri said the remarks renew questions about “Mr. Trump’s own disturbing affinity for Mr. Putin” as well as the Republican National Committee platform’s lack of support for Ukraine in its land dispute with Russia.