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DORAL (CBSMiami) – In his most extensive remarks on allegations that Russia is attempting to influence the presidential election in his favor, Republican nominee Donald Trump flatly denied any ties to the Russian government or Russian investors.
“I can tell you I think if I came up with that they’d say, ‘Oh, it’s a conspiracy theory, it’s ridiculous,’” Trump told CBS4’s Jim DeFede during an interview at his golf resort in Doral. “I mean I have nothing to do with Russia. I don’t have any jobs in Russia. I’m all over the world but we’re not involved in Russia.”
The Russian link stems from the recent hacking of the Democratic National Committee emails which have proven highly embarrassing to the Democratic Party and its nominee, Hillary Clinton. The emails showed how DNC officials favored Clinton during the primaries.
Subsequent stories have suggested one reason Russia President Vladimir Putin would like to see Trump in the White House is because Trump’s personal business empire is heavily dependent on Russian investment, making a possible President Trump susceptible to pressure from Moscow.
“Is that the theory? I haven’t heard that at all,” Trump told the Miami station. “I mean I haven’t heard that. But I have nothing to do with Russia, nothing to do, I never met Putin, I have nothing to do with Russia whatsoever.”
Trump went on to say he has no outstanding loans with Russian banks or Russian investors.
“Absolutely not,” he said. “It’s ridiculous.”
He instead turned the attention to Clinton.
“This was just put out there by Clinton because they figure it’s a good soundbite,” he said. “The fact is she’s the one involved with Russia because they have Uranium because of her when she was Secretary of State. I mean that was a big, big deal, so they just came up with this concept, so okay.”
In June at a rally in San Diego, Trump said of his opponent: “Hillary Clinton has to go to jail. She has to go to jail. She’s guilty as hell.” This was followed at the convention by frequent chants of “Lock Her Up,” from Republican delegates.
On Tuesday, CBS4 News asked Trump if, as president, he would instruct his Justice Department to re-open the criminal investigation into Clinton.
“Well I don’t want to comment on that right now, but what she did was very serious stuff, but I just don’t think I should be commenting on that right now,” he said.
But it’s a possibility?
“I don’t want to comment on it,” he repeated. “I really don’t want to talk about it. It was very serious stuff.”
The interview with Trump took place a few hours before the mothers of Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner and other young people who died as a result of gun violence or during an encounter with police. Trump was asked what he made of the fact that these mothers were aligned against him.
“Well I don’t know that they are aligned against me,” he said. “I haven’t heard them speak. But I’m a person who believes in law and order. I believe in protecting our police and being with our police. I also want our police to be extremely careful and vigilant, they have to be very, very careful and they have to do what’s right. But we are a country of laws. We have to protect our police. I don’t know that they are against me. I don’t know why they’d be against me. I’m a perfectly nice person.”
Trump said he did not know if there was a racial disparity in the criminal justice system.
“I would have to look at it, I would have to study it,” he said. “Lots of people have opinions both ways, but I would certainly study it.”
Speaking about the early stages of the Democratic convention, Trump actually complimented First Lady Michelle Obama on her speech, even though she spent a good portion of it attacking him. “I thought her speech was okay, I thought it was pretty good,” he said.
Regarding Bernie Sanders, Trump was more dismissive.
“I think Bernie got very tired, he wants to go home, he wants to go to sleep, he wants to go to bed, he wants to get out,” Trump said. “So it looks like he got tired and the people will probably go home and I think we’re going to get a lot of the Sanders people because of my views on trade, because we are being so ripped off on trade and jobs. I think we are going to do very well with Bernie Sanders people.”
You can watch the entire interview with Donald Trump below, where he addresses Cuba, gun control and variety of other topics as well.
Click here to read more about Campaign 2016.