Trump clarifies comments about foreign information
by Harvest Prude
Posted 6/14/19, 10:53 am
WASHINGTON—President Donald Trump said Friday that he would definitely contact the FBI if a foreign power gave him information about a political rival, but he doubled down on comments he made in an ABC News interview that aired Wednesday that he would accept information on his 2020 election opponent from foreign governments. During that interview the president made conflicting comments on whether he would contact the FBI. At one point Trump said he would not, at another he said he would “if I thought there was something wrong.”
On Friday, the president attempted to clarify his comments in an interview on the Fox News Channel’s “Fox & Friends.” He said he would still look at the information but added that if he “thought anything was incorrect or badly stated, I’d report it to the attorney general, the FBI. I’d report it to law enforcement absolutely.”
Trump compared such communication to his contact with foreign allies, such as his recent meeting with Queen Elizabeth II of England, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May, and French President Emmanuel Macron: “I’m thinking, gee, if they say, ‘We don’t like your opponent,’ am I supposed to—the president of France—am I supposed to report him to the FBI?”
Trump also insisted that Democrats were guilty of using foreign assistance, giving the example of the hiring of British spy Christopher Steele, whose dossier became the basis for the FBI’s surveillance of the Trump campaign. “Here’s the bottom line: They spied on my campaign and they got caught,” Trump said.
The president’s remarks have caused consternation among Democrats, who have accused Trump of essentially inviting foreign interference in the 2020 presidential election. Several Democratic lawmakers have pointed to his comments to reiterate their call for Congress to begin impeachment hearings.
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Harvest is a reporter for WORLD based in Washington, D.C.