'I Think I'd Take It:' President Trump And Foreign Dirt
On Wednesday, President Trump told ABC News chief anchor George Stephanopoulos that he might accept damaging information from foreigners about opponents.
When pressed on whether he would hand this information over to the FBI, he said, “I think maybe you do both.”
“I think you might want to listen, there isn’t anything wrong with listening,” President 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.”
President Trump’s comments come amid a slew of investigations into his campaign’s involvement with Russians during the 2016 campaign.
In the interview, he refuted the idea that accepting dirt from a foreign government on an opponent would be construed as ‘interference.’
It’s not an interference, they have information — I think I’d take it. 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.
The president followed up his comments with this tweet, posted on Thursday morning:
….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
What do we make of the president’s latest statements on foreign relations? Would it be legal for a campaign to accept dirt from foreign actors?
Ron Elving, Senior editor and correspondent, NPR; lecturer, School of Public Affairs, American University; @nprrelving
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