Trump Says That He Wouldn’t Report Foreign Election Help To FBI If Offered Now: “I’d Take It!”
In a shocking interview with ABC, President Donald Trump said that he wouldn’t inform the FBI of any information given to him by a foreign power during the 2020 election cycle.
When ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos asked the president whether or not help from a foreign source should be reported to government officials, Trump surprisingly answered that no, it shouldn’t, and that such help wouldn’t count as election 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,” responded the president.
When Stephanopoulos pointed out that FBI Director Christopher Wray told Congress that such information needed to be given to the agency, Trump flat out dismissed the director’s comments, saying, “The FBI director is wrong.”
The president went on to defend his claim, scoffing, “Life doesn’t work that way.” He asserted that if he thought something was wrong he might report it to the FBI, but he didn’t think there was anything “wrong with listening.” He also made the misleading claim that the members of Congress “all do it.”
Donald Trump Jr. also made similar claims during an interview earlier this month, refusing to concretely state that he would report foreign help to the FBI. Trump Jr. is currently under scrutiny for his role in a 2016 meeting between Trump campaign officials and a Kremlin lawyer who offered “dirt” on Hillary Clinton‘s campaign. Trump Jr. appeared before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Wednesday to go over his 2017 testimony which has since been contradicted by others familiar with the meeting.
Democrats and legal scholars alike are livid over the president’s remarks, especially amid the various investigations currently underway into Trump’s possible obstruction of justice and collusion with a foreign power. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-California), Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said that he was stunned but unsurprised by the president’s remarks, and pointed out that according to U.S. law foreign help must be declared just as campaign contributions. “Donald Trump has made it clear that he will engage in any action, no matter how unethical or unpatriotic, that he will go up to the line of what’s legal and indeed he looks like he crossed that line many times,” said Schiff.
When the Russians offered dirt on Clinton in 2016, the Trump campaign enthusiastically accepted.
Today, the President made it clear he would do it all over again, saying everyone does it.
No, they don't.
Trump does nothing if not project his own lack of ethics onto others. pic.twitter.com/T8uZIBkuIK
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) June 13, 2019