Former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton called out Republican lawmakers Wednesday for refusing to fully investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election because they know it aided them and helped to elect President Donald Trump.
She told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow that if the shoe was on the other foot, however, those same lawmakers would no doubt react very differently. As an example, she offered a hypothetical.
“Imagine, Rachel, that you had one of the Democratic nominees for 2020 on your show and that person said, ‘Y’know, the only other adversary of ours, who’s anywhere near as good as the Russians, is China. So why should Russia have all the fun? And since Russia is clearly backing Republicans, why don’t we ask China to back us?’”
Then, she got even more specific, using Trump’s own words from when he called on Russia to hack her, just paraphrased slightly.
“China, if you’re listening, why don’t you get Trump’s tax returns?” Clinton said in this hypothetical scenario. “I’m sure our media would richly reward you.”
During a 2016 news conference, Trump infamously 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.”
Clinton said that, according to special counsel Robert Muller’s report, such a call wouldn’t be considered criminal conspiracy even if China hacked the IRS and delivered those returns to a WikiLeaks-like organization because it took place in the open. That’s what happened in 2016 when Russia hacked email accounts of people close to Clinton and delivered the messages to WikiLeaks after Trump openly called on them to hack his rival.
“Just saying that shows how absurd the situation we find ourselves in,” Clinton said.
She said that Republicans like to mention her whenever they want a distraction from real issues, such as Russian interference in the 2016 election and Trump’s obstruction.
“That’s the real story. That’s what they don’t want the American people thinking about,” Clinton said. “So when in doubt, say something wild about me.”
Clinton also noted that Trump’s obsession with her meant that she was “living rent-free” inside the president’s brain.
“And it’s not a very nice place to be, I can tell you that,” she added.
See the full interview above.