Trump Tries to Walk Back Comments |on Russia; Pence Event Bars Reporter

     
     (CN) – Donald Trump rebuked those who found fault in his latest controversial utterance on Wednesday, telling anyone who would listen that “of course” he was being sarcastic when he said should find Hillary Clinton’s missing emails.
     Trump said that when he suggested at a news conference in Doral, Florida Wednesday morning that Russia release emails that went missing after being stored on Clinton’s private email server, he was clearly being ironic.
     “They don’t even know frankly if it’s Russia,” Trump told Fox News in an interview that was to air Thursday morning.
     “They have no idea if it’s Russia, if it’s China, if it’s somebody else. Who knows who it is?” Trump continued, saying the real issue is that “you have 33,000 emails deleted and the real problem is what was said on those emails from the Democratic National Committee.”
     “You take a look at what was said on those emails, it’s disgraceful. It’s disgraceful. They talk about religion, they talk about race, they talk about all sorts of things, including women. And what they said on those emails is a disgrace, and they’re just trying to deflect from that,” Trump said.
     Appearing with Fox News’ Megyn Kelly last night during the conservative news channels coverage of the Democratic National Convention, Trump spokeswoman Katrina Pierson said while the GOP presidential candidate’s Russia comment “wasn’t really a joke, per se,” it was certainly “tongue-in-cheek.”
     But controversy continued to dog the Trump campaign Wednesday night, after a Washington Post reporter was barred from entering a campaign rally for GOP vice presidential nominee Mike Pence in Waukesha, Wisconsin.
     The newspaper said Thursday morning that Post reporter Jose DelReal was turned down for a credential before the rally and tried to enter through general admission.
     The Post reports DelReal was stopped by private security who said he couldn’t enter with his laptop and cellphone.
     The Post says the Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department verified DelReal had no phone after patting him down, but DelReal still was denied entry.
     Trump banned the Post from being credentialed for campaign events last month.
     Post executive editor Martin Baron says DelReal was subjected to “bullying treatment that no ordinary citizen has to endure.”
     Pence spokesman Marc Lotter tells the Post the campaign is “looking into the alleged incident.”
     Lost in the whirlpool of controversy, was just about everything else Trump had to say during his news conference at the “Trump National” resort in Doral, Fla. on Wednesday.
     Along with his comments about Russia and Clinton’s emails, Trump also said that Russia has no respect for the United States, but that if elected he would be “so much better” on U.S.- Russia relations than his Democratic opponent would be and the incumbent, President Obama, has been.
     “Russia has no respect for our country. Russia has no respect for Obama reason why Putin once call him the “N word,” said the Republican candidate.
     Trump continued his impetuous comments on the Democratic Party by calling Hilary Clinton a “disaster,” and accused President Obama of carrying an “incompetent leadership.”
     “I believe that Hilary Clinton will be even worse than Barack Obama … It’s gonna be 4 more years of Obama which is unacceptable,” said Trump.
     According to the Republican candidate, his campaign will roll out new proposals for an immigration reform in August, as well as plans for an increase in the minimum wage and aid for college students.
     “I’m going to have a whole new immigration policy,” Trump said, adding, “I’ve been doing very well with the Hispanic community. The polls have been going very high … “
     Trump also criticized Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who he said lied by accusing him on a recent speech of wanting the minimum wage to go below $7, when in reality he wants to pass a Federal reform to raise it to at least $10.
     He also assured reporters that his campaign has a “great plan” to make college education more affordable.
     “We have to help our students … Our students are under a tremendous pressure,” he said.
     In an interview with Savannah Guthrie on the “Today” show on Wednesday morning, President Obama said Trump “doesn’t seem to have any plans or policies or proposals or specific solutions.”
     As usual Trump did not hesitate to respond. When Obama’s comments were mentioned during the press conference in Miami he quickly answered: “I think President Obama has been the most ignorant president in our history.”
     Donald Trump ended his comments by urging Hilary Clinton to do a press conference as well because he would be interested in seeing how she does.
     “It’s been 235 days since crooked Hilary Clinton has had a press conference,” he said.
     
     Photo caption: Donald Trump in Miami. Photo by Monica Pais.
     
      Courthouse News reporter Monica Pais contributed to this report from Miami.
     

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