EXCLUSIVE: Pres. Trump tells @GStephanopoulos he wouldn’t necessarily alert the FBI if approached by foreign figures with information on his 2020 opponent: “It’s not an interference. They have information. I think I’d take it.” https://t.co/yWRxMOaFqW pic.twitter.com/qwLw53s5yc
— ABC News (@ABC) June 12, 2019
Courtesy of ABC News:
Asked by ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos in the Oval Office on Wednesday whether his campaign would accept such information from foreigners — such as China or Russia — or hand it over the FBI, Trump said, “I think maybe you do both.”
“I think you might want to listen, there isn’t anything wrong with listening,” Trump continued. “If somebody called from a country, Norway, [and said] ‘we have information on your opponent’ — oh, I think I’d want to hear it.”
Trump disputed the idea that if a foreign government provided information on a political opponent, it would be considered interference in our election process.
“It’s not an interference, they have information — I think I’d take it,” Trump said. “If I thought there was something wrong, I’d go maybe to the FBI — if I thought there was something wrong. But when somebody comes up with oppo research, right, they come up with oppo research, ‘oh let’s call the FBI.’ The FBI doesn’t have enough agents to take care of it. When you go and talk, honestly, to congressman, they all do it, they always have, and that’s the way it is. It’s called oppo research.”
President Trump lamented the attention on his son, Donald Trump Jr., for his role in the now-infamous Trump Tower meeting in June 2016. Stephanopoulos asked whether Trump Jr. should have taken the Russians’ offer for “dirt” on then-candidate Hillary Clinton to the FBI.
“Somebody comes up and says, ‘hey, I have information on your opponent,’ do you call the FBI?” Trump responded.
“I’ll tell you what, I’ve seen a lot of things over my life. I don’t think in my whole life I’ve ever called the FBI. In my whole life. You don’t call the FBI. You throw somebody out of your office, you do whatever you do,” Trump continued. “Oh, give me a break – life doesn’t work that way.”
“The FBI director said that is what should happen,” Stephanopoulos replied, referring to comments FBI Director Christopher Wray made during congressional testimony last month, when he told lawmakers “the FBI would want to know about” any foreign election meddling.
“The FBI director is wrong, because frankly it doesn’t happen like that in life,” Trump said. “Now maybe it will start happening, maybe today you’d think differently.”
The FBI director is wrong?
Keep in mind that this is the guy that Trump chose for the job.
So essentially Trump is sending a message to foreign governments all over the world that it is open season on garnering favor from his campaign by offering dirt on his Democratic opponent.
That is both amazing and terrifying.
This morning Trump tweeted out a tortured rationalization for his comments that in some ways seemed to make them even worse:
….call the FBI about these calls and meetings? How ridiculous! I would never be trusted again. With that being said, my full answer is rarely played by the Fake News Media. They purposely leave out the part that matters.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 13, 2019
So in Trump’s eyes accepting potentially hacked information from a foreign adversary on his political opponent is the same as meeting with the Queen of England?
I have no words.
Here is a little more of that interview with George Stephanopoulos for those who have not yet been shocked quite enough.
Okay seriously, can we move forward with those impeachment hearings now?