Collusion hoaxers expressed outrage that during an ABC News interview, President Trump remarked that if a foreign government offered him damaging information about a 2020 presidential rival, he would both listen and notify the FBI.
After ABC News chief anchor George Papadopoulos asked Trump during an Oval Office interview Wednesday whether his campaign would accept the damaging information or hand it over to the FBI, Trump responded, “I think maybe you do both.”
“I think you might want to listen. There’s nothing wrong with listening,” Trump said. “If somebody called from a country, Norway, ‘We have information on your opponent’ — oh, I think I’d want to hear it.”
“If I thought there was something wrong, I’d go maybe to the FBI if I thought there was something wrong,” he said.
Democrats went into overdrive, forgetting that Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) accepted a call from a person he thought was the speaker of the Ukrainian Parliament who said he had explosive information on Trump, or that the Democratic National Committee accepted information about Trump from Ukraine, or that the dossier for which the DNC and Hillary Clinton’s campaign paid was put together by an ex-British spy with Russian sources.
Former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign said in a tweet that Trump was “welcoming foreign interference”:
President Trump is once again welcoming foreign interference in our elections. This isn’t about politics. It is a threat to our national security. An American President should not seek their aid and abet those who seek to undermine democracy.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) June 13, 2019
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) said it was “time to impeach” Trump.
Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) announced he supported impeachment after Trump’s comments.
The irony was not lost on many of Trump’s GOP supporters, who pointed out that Democrats actually solicited information from Russian agents in the 2016 election:
What’s most amazing about the pearl clutching over Trump’s “foreign oppo” comment—we’ve got a complete paper trail of Hillary Clinton and the DNC *paying* for info from Russian agents in 2016.
But that doesn’t matter, apparently. It’s only a problem when Trump is involved.
— Mark Meadows (@RepMarkMeadows) June 13, 2019
In a lengthy email statement on Thursday morning, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) called out Democrats’ hypocrisy.
“First, I believe that it should be practice for all public officials who are contacted by a foreign government with an offer of assistance to their campaign – either directly or indirectly – to inform the FBI and reject the offer,” he said.
“But this has not been recent practice and we saw that come to a head during the 2016 presidential campaign. During that race, we had a major American political party hire a foreign national, Christopher Steele, to dig up dirt on an American presidential candidate,” he said.
As if that was not bad enough, the foreign national compiled an unverified dossier that was then used by the FBI to obtain a warrant against an American citizen and surveil an American presidential campaign. It has also come to light that the foreign national had a well-known political bias, was doing everything in his power to harm an American candidate’s electoral chances, and sought to directly influence who the American people elected as their next president.
“Finally, the outrage some of my Democratic colleagues are raising about President Trump’s comments will hopefully be met with equal outrage that their own party hired a foreign national to do opposition research on President Trump’s campaign,” Graham said, adding, “and that information, unverified, was apparently used by the FBI to obtain a warrant against an American citizen.”
The Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway outlined in a thread all of the various times Democrats sought or accepted information from a foreign power:
Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee belatedly admitted to secretly purchasing an operation, sourced by their own admission to Russian government agents, to affect the 2016 election. They also sought info from Ukrainian govt officials. Nearly no media concern.
— Mollie (@MZHemingway) June 13, 2019
Trump followed up on Thursday with tweets mocking the outrage:
I meet and talk to “foreign governments” every day. I just met with the Queen of England (U.K.), the Prince of Wales, the P.M. of the United Kingdom, the P.M. of Ireland, the President of France and the President of Poland. We talked about “Everything!” Should I immediately call the FBI about these calls and meetings? How ridiculous! I would never be trusted again.
He added, “With that being said, my full answer is rarely played by the Fake News Media. They purposely leave out the part that matters”:
….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
Watch Trump’s remarks in the ABC News interview: