Trump said he would welcome damaging information on his 2020 political opponents from foreign governments.
The man who asked for and received damaging information on his political opponent says he'd do it again.
During a Wednesday night interview with ABC, Trump admitted he would, again, welcome damaging information on his 2020 political opponents if offered by foreign, potentially hostile, government: "I think you might want to listen. There isn't anything wrong with listening. If somebody called from a country, Norway, [and said] 'we have information on your opponent, oh, I think I'd want to hear it."
Since Trump took office, intelligence agencies and special counsel Robert Mueller determined that Russia interfered in the 2016 elections, including through the theft and release of Democratic emails, which Trump infamously asked for. But Trump thinks that obtaining such information from a foreign power should not be considered political inference.
"It's not an interference, they have information — I think I'd take it," he added. Trump noted that he'd "maybe" contact the FBI if he "thought there was something wrong" after taking the information. Such a statement is unsurprising coming from a man who used those means to help him come to power.
But he also doubted the FBI's ability to handle such interference and said the FBI "doesn't have enough agents to take care of it."
Unlike Trump, the FBI seems to understand that colluding with a foreign government is bad. Trump's own handpicked FBI director, Christopher Wray, said in a congressional hearing last month that if a campaign is offered such information, they should alert the agency. But Wray's words apparently fell on deaf ears.
"The FBI director is wrong, because frankly it doesn't happen like that in life," Trump said in the ABC interview, apparently knowing how it really happens in life.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi responded to Trump's statements Thursday morning, saying, "The Russians attacked our elections, and @realDonaldTrump is giving them the green light to do it again. We can’t stand by and just hope for the best."
Defending collusion with a foreign country to gain political power seems to be a Trump family trait.
The coordinated meeting with a Russian operative in 2016, where Donald Trump Jr. was promised damaging information on Hillary Clinton, is still being investigated by Congress. Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, defended the meeting earlier this month, as they were not "given anything salacious." Kushner, like Trump, admitted that he doesn't know if he'd contact the FBI if offered such incriminating evidence again.
It appears Trump is willing to stoop to any level to win again.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.