WASHINGTON – Turning the tables on President Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton urged China to get information on his taxes.
During a discussion with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow on Wednesday night about the possibility of meddling in the 2020 election by a foreign power, the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee proposed a hypothetical situation involving a Democratic candidate for president.
“Imagine, Rachel, that you had one of the Democratic nominees for 2020 on your show, and that person said, ‘You know, the only other adversary of ours who is anywhere near as good as the Russians, is China,’ ” Clinton said.
” ‘So why should Russia have all the fun? And since Russia is clearly backing Republicans, why don’t we ask China to back us?’ ” Clinton continued.
” ‘And not only that, China, if you’re listening, why don’t you get Trump’s tax returns. I’m sure our media would richly reward you.’ ”
Clinton added, “Now, according to the Mueller report, that’s not conspiracy because it’s done right out in the open.”
Trump has refused to turn over any of his tax returns from recent years, claiming that he is being audited.
Clinton was echoing a very controversial comment Trump made during his campaign. At news conference on July 27, 2016, he appealed to hackers in Russia to locate thousands of emails deleted from a private email account she used when she was secretary of state.
“Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” Trump said at the time. “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”
When asked by TMN for a response to Clinton’s comments Thursday on the White House driveway, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said it was “hypocrisy at its best and I think maybe she’s got herself confused with the previous administration, where they actually didn’t do anything to stop interference in the election … and … honestly, I’m baffled by it. It’s truly astonishing comments from Secretary Clinton.”
An indictment by Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III in July 2018 charged 12 Russians with hacking Clinton’s presidential campaign as well as the Democratic National Committee during the 2016 presidential campaign. Ironically the indictment accused the defendants of initially trying to hack into Clinton’s work email servers on the very same day Trump had appealed to the Russians for help in finding her emails.