Washington: Republican Party's presidential nominee Donald Trump has said that he was "being sarcastic" when he suggested that Russia should find Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton's missing emails.
"Of course I'm being sarcastic. And they don't even know frankly if it's Russia," Trump said in an interview with Fox News' Brian Kilmeade set to air on Thursday morning.
Trump was at the centre of an uproar on Wednesday after he said at a press conference that Russia should help find Clinton's missing emails on the personal server that she used to conduct official business as secretary of state but deemed private and did not hand over to the State Department, Politico reported.
"They have no idea if it's Russia, if it's China, if it's somebody else. Who knows who it is...But you have 33,000 emails deleted and the real problem is what was said on those emails from the Democratic National Committee," Trump remarked.
"You take a look at what was said on those emails, 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," Politico quoted the Manhattan billionaire as saying in the interview.
Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort also called the real estate mogul's remark "sarcastic".
"Well it wasn't really a joke, per se. It was more tongue-in-cheek, like we've been saying simply because that is the issue," spokeswoman Katrina Pierson said, suggesting that the focus of the story should be in on the Democratic email hack itself.