'Lock her up' chant erupts at CPAC after Trump jokes about Russia, Clinton's emails

President TrumpDonald John TrumpSanders apologizes to Biden for supporter's op-ed Jayapal: 'We will end up with another Trump' if the US doesn't elect progressive Democrats: McConnell impeachment trial rules a 'cover up,' 'national disgrace' MORE on Saturday suggested that he was speaking sarcastically when he said in the run-up to the 2016 election that he hoped Russia found Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDemocratic debates are magnet for lobbyists NYT editorial board endorses Warren, Klobuchar for Democratic nomination for president Sanders v. Warren is just for insiders MORE's deleted emails.

Trump's remark at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) prompted a chant of "Lock her up" from attendees at the event in National Harbor, Md., just outside Washington.

The president lamented that he couldn't joke without upsetting the media while facetiously reiterating his past comments inviting Russia to find Clinton's deleted emails. 

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“I’ve learned, because with the fake news, if you tell a joke, if you’re sarcastic, if you’re having fun with the audience,” he said, “If you say something like ‘Russia, please if you can, get us Hillary Clinton’s emails, please, Russia, please, please get us the emails.”

The crowd cheered enthusiastically and chanted "lock her up."

Trump was referencing a press conference in July 2016 when he addressed Russia directly, stating, "Russia, if you are listening, I hope you are able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by the press."

Special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerSchiff: Trump acquittal in Senate trial would not signal a 'failure' Jeffries blasts Trump for attack on Thunberg at impeachment hearing Live coverage: House Judiciary to vote on impeachment after surprise delay MORE is currently investigating whether Russia interfered in the 2016 elections, including whether members of the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow.

Trump's former personal attorney Michael Cohen testified before Congress on Wednesday and said that Trump's former informal adviser Roger StoneRoger Jason StoneAuthorities prepared to hand over Roger Stone records to media: report Bannon: 'We need the Republican establishment on board' to reelect Trump 2019 in Photos: 35 pictures in politics MORE had informed Trump in advance of WikiLeak's release of hacked Democratic emails in the summer of 2016.

"Mr. Stone told Mr. Trump that he had just gotten off the phone with Julian Assange and that Mr. Assange told Mr. Stone that, within a couple of days, there would be a massive dump of emails that would damage Hillary Clinton’s campaign," Cohen testified, referring to the founder of WikiLeaks.

“Mr. Trump responded by stating to the effect of ‘wouldn’t that be great,’” Cohen added.

Both Stone and WikiLeaks denied Cohen's account.

CPAC is an annual gathering of conservative activists that features high-profile speakers. Many conservative university students attend the event.