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

President TrumpDonald John TrumpFormer employees critique EPA under Trump in new report Fired State Department watchdog says Pompeo aide attempted to 'bully' him over investigations Virginia senator calls for Barr to resign over order to clear protests 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 ClintonBiden opens widest lead over Trump in online betting markets Trump, Biden battle to shape opinion on scenes of unrest Sessions accepts 'Fox News Sunday' invitation to debate, Tuberville declines 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) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout 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 StoneDemocrats aim to amend Graham subpoena to include Trump allies Roger Stone to surrender to prison by June 30 Sunday shows preview: States begin to reopen even as some areas in US see case counts increase 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.