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

President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate GOP budget ignores Trump, cuts defense Trump says he'll nominate Stephen Moore to Fed White House: ISIS territory in Syria has been 100 percent eliminated 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 Socialists of America endorses Sanders for president How to end the Electoral College and elect our next president by popular vote CNN town halls put network at center of Dem primary 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 Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe 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 StoneThe Hill's Morning Report — Washington readies for Mueller end game Hillicon Valley: Kushner accused of using WhatsApp, personal email for official work | White House rejects request for Trump-Putin communications | Facebook left 'hundreds of millions' of passwords unsecured | Tech pressured to root out extremism Five things to watch for as White House readies for Mueller report 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.