Clearly irked by continued news coverage of Russian attempts to influence the 2016 election in his favor, Donald Trump’s team suggested that the patriotic thing to do would be to drop the subject entirely.
On Fox News Channel, Trump’s campaign manager and senior transition tea adviser Kellyanne Conway blasted White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest for his Thursday comments. Earnest had mentioned that, at Trump’s most recent press conference in July, then-candidate Trump had publicly asked Russia to hack Hillary Clinton’s deleted emails and release them.
Asked by host Martha MacCallum whether President Obama could muzzle Earnest, Conway called on him and Hillary Clinton to “shut down” questions about Russia’s role in Trump’s surprise victory.
“If you want to shut this down and love the country enough to have the peaceful transition in great democracy between the Obama administration and the Trump administration,” she said, “there are a couple people in prominent positions, one named Hillary Clinton and Obama, since people want to fight for her election, they can shut this down.”
Trump himself, per usual, took to Twitter on Friday morning to minimize the importance of the topic, arguing the ends justify the means and falsely claiming that the DNC acted illegally.
Are we talking about the same cyberattack where it was revealed that head of the DNC illegally gave Hillary the questions to the debate?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 16, 2016
Conway also argued that the Russian hacking can’t have been important because it was not the main focus of the Clinton campaign prior to Election Day, as “ Beyonce and Jay-Z” didn’t “warn everybody about the Russian hacking interference.” A day early Trump falsely claimed the Clinton campaign had not raised the issue at all until after the election.