At a news conference in July 2016, then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump famously called for Russia’s assistance in finding Hillary Clinton’s missing emails.
On Wednesday night, Clinton turned the tables, suggesting a plea that one of the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates could make: “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 during an appearance on MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show.”
Clinton offered the hypothetical as part of an argument that Republicans are letting Russia get away with having aided Trump in the 2016 election.
“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?”
The election could turn into a battle between two rival powers, Russia and China, one supporting the Republicans and one the Democrats, Clinton said.
“Just saying that shows how absurd the situation is we find ourselves in,” she added.
Clinton’s use of a personal email server while secretary of state became a major issue in her 2016 bid, even as she was cleared by the FBI of committing a crime.
Trump has said his call for Russia to find Clinton’s missing emails was made in jest. But according to the report of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, Russian hackers did seek Clinton’s emails within hours of Trump’s remarks at a news conference in Florida.
Breaking with decades of tradition, Trump has refused to voluntarily release his tax returns. House Democrats are seeking to obtain copies of six years of the president’s personal and business tax returns from the Internal Revenue Service but so far have been rebuffed.