Trump Says He’d Accept Foreign Help with Re-Election

UPDATE #2: Gardner speaks…sort of. From Politico:

Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), one of the most vulnerable senators in the 2020 cycle, said foreign opposition “should be turned over to the FBI, plain and simple.”

Perhaps there is more to come from Gardner, but you probably noticed that he didn’t actually say anything about Trump’s comments. He isn’t alone, as Politico noted later:

Still, most stopped short of calling out Trump by name despite some private anger over the president’s comments. Republicans seemed to view the firestorm as a temporary one that will pass given Trump’s penchant for changing the media narrative.

There are two parts to this question for other elected officials, particularly Republicans: 1) Would you inform the FBI about information you received from foreign countries about a political opponent, and 2) What do you think about President Trump’s comments that he would accept politically-helpful information from a foreign government?


UPDATE: Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) regularly boasts about his frequent communication with Trump. So what does Gardner have to say about this? Bloomberg reporter Steven Dennis tried to find out:

But not all Republican Senators are avoiding the subject:


President Trump

I’m not “not listening.”

President Trump sat down for an interview with George Stephanopoulos of ABC News on Wednesday and candidly admitted that not only would he accept foreign help in his 2020 re-election campaign — but he probably wouldn’t even tell the FBI about those interactions:

President Donald Trump may not alert the FBI if foreign governments offered damaging information against his 2020 rivals during the upcoming presidential race, he said, despite the deluge of investigations stemming from his campaign’s interactions with Russians during the 2016 campaign.

Later in the interview, Stephanopoulos brought up FBI Director Christopher Wray’s warning that anyone who received incriminating information from a foreign government should immediately contact the FBI. As James Hohmann recaps for the Washington Post:

Trump said that he would “want to hear” whatever information a foreigner was offering and that accepting compromising information about a challenger does not count as foreign interference. “The FBI doesn’t have enough agents to take care of it,” he said. “When you go and talk, honestly, to congressmen, they all do it. They always have, and that’s the way it is. It’s called oppo research.”

Trump added: “You don’t call the FBI. … Oh, give me a break – life doesn’t work that way.”

In response to rebukes, including from Republicans, Trump claimed in the summer of 2016 that he had been joking when he encouraged Russia to hack his opponent’s emails. Watch last night’s clip, and you’ll see that Trump is clearly not joking about welcoming dirt from foreigners. Once again, this puts him crosswise with the FBI.

After the ABC News interview aired, Trump seemed to belatedly understand the problem with these statements and is now furiously trying to spin his own remarks in a different light. As Stephen Collinson writes for CNN:

President Donald Trump threw up a smokescreen of deflection and confusing counter attacks Thursday as a furor mounted over his staggering comment that he would be open to dirt dug up on his 2020 opponents by foreign powers such as Russia or China.

The President even implied — clearly erroneously — that he had been merely referring to the content of his conversations with foreign dignitaries such as the Queen of England and Prince Charles when he made the remark in an ABC News interview.

Even in a presidency that long ago burned through all conceivable superlatives, Trump’s statement was a stunner…

…This was the President of the United States — the man charged with protecting the Constitution, American democracy and the Western world — sitting at the Resolute desk in the Oval Office, saying he would accept damaging information from Russia and China on his 2020 Democratic foe. [Pols emphasis]

It is a federal crime in the United States for a political candidate to accept money (or anything of value) from foreign governments or citizens for the purposes of winning an election.


35 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. DavieDavie says:

    Just waiting for Rudy Giuliani to come along any minute to reassure us that since the president can't be indicted, obviously, nothing he does is against the law. 

    • spaceman65 says:

      You gotta love it.  Especially this constitutional fallacy that a sitting president cannot be indicted.  Of course he can.  Let's see the originalists demonstrate why the Fifth Amendment indictment provision somehow exempts the president.  

  2. MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

    Progress? We’ve moved on from internet-deprived tractors to the Prince of Whales? What next? A love letter from the Sultan of Dumphuckistan? 

  3. gertie97 says:

    The Sultan of Dumphuckistan, aka Cory Gardner, sucks up to Trump daily and doesn't know shit from shinola.

  4. Arvadonian1Arvadonian1 says:

    Cory Gardner: Profile in Courage.

  5. Diogenesdemar says:

    Given tRumps universally known proclivity for secretive self-interested self-dealing, his broadcasting that “he’d accept” has just been clearly and loudly heard worldwide as, “he’s inviting” . . .

    (. . . Tangerine Jr. will begin booking back-channel “adoption meetings” immediately.)

  6. Powerful Pear says:

    Congrats, you have Trump now! Any day he will be arrested and perp-walked out of the White House. You got him now. MSNBC,  CNN, ABC, CBS and NBC won’t let you down tor the next 2 years. Keep believing and send money, lots of it to the DNC. 

    • unnamed says:

      Better than sending money to sore-loser recall committees.  

      Also, sorry, can't send the DNC money.  Trump and your party raised my taxes. 

    • Gilpin Guy says:

      I'm betting Pear Shape would get the vapors if a Democratic politician said anything like this.  It is so obvious that he/she/it has no values or principles when all it can do is insult people and the press.  Hey dude, I thought you valued the Constitution.  Do you have any opinion on whether we should protect our elections from being bought by a foreign adversary or are you such a shallow character that you only care if a Democrat did something this politically heinous?

      • Powerful Pear says:

        You mean like Hillary Clinton who financed the whole operation. Or Black Obama who directed the intel agencies to spy on Trump. The truth is coming. 

        Elections are bought and sold each cycle, ask Teddy Kennedy………oh he’s as dead as a hammer. Then Hillary and her Clinton pay for play fund.

        And tell “unnamed” I don’t believe him on his tax claim until he release 10 years of tax returns.

        • Diogenesdemar says:

          . . . Black Obama . . . 

          Like we didn’t already know where you live, you pathetic  pfuckhead . . . 

        • unnamed says:

          And tell “unnamed” I don’t believe him on his tax claim until he release 10 years of tax returns.


          I'm not running for President, nor trying to sell the idea that a "brilliant" businessman can go through 7 bankruptcies.  

          You going to release your tax returns when you run against Jason Crow, or primary Coreless Gardner?

          • Powerful Pear says:

            I’m waiting for you to back up you tax claim. Ten years of returns. Put em up on the Pols site. It will be all confidential.

            • Curmudgeon says:

              Why should they do something your own President won't? 

            • Gilpin Guy says:

              What cheap tricks.  You still haven't said whether you think it is OK for our foreign adversaries to help Democrats win the White House and stack the courts.  Is that your idea of fair play in politics?  Your tax demands are nonsense intended to deflect attention away from the fact that you hate our Constitution and enjoy foul play as long as it is your side that is doing it.  Did I get your low standards of ethics correct or do you really care about protecting our most precious American concepts and institutions?

            • unnamed says:

              Right.  Because a person who refers to the 44th President as "Black Obama" can be trusted.  You have your fuhrer's negotiating skills.


        • MADCO says:

          well, Secretary Clinton 7 + years of investigation: nothing
          And she never was, is not now and never will be president.


        • Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

          "Black Obama"…

          You obnoxious bigot. When are you going to answer MY questions? Remember…? The ones you have been avoiding for days?

          1…Will your Master step down if he clearly loses the election?

          2…If he will not, will you help him take control of the government by force?

          3….Will you pick up a weapon and kill other humans for him?

          4…If you still do NOT believe he will refuse to agree to give up power, what evidence do you have to make that claim?

          Enough of your cowardice…tell us your intention. How far will your racist hatred and resentment propel you? Until you actually engage with posters here and be real with us, you are no better than a troll.

  7. Genghis says:

    The Dumpatollah is convinced there's nothing he could ever say or do to blow his reelection in 2020. Trouble is, he may be right about that shit.

    • VoyageurVoyageur says:

      You nailed it Genghis.  A dead dog could beat Trump.  But whether the circular firing squad now forming in Iowa can, remains to be seen.

      • DavieDavie says:

        The winnowing has begun (sorta):

        The first Democratic primary debates, scheduled for later this month, have 20 available spots split over two nights. That means, with 23 candidates running, that three will be left off the stage.

        We learned Thursday who those three were: Gov. Steve Bullock of Montana; Representative Seth Moulton of Massachusetts; and Mayor Wayne Messam of Miramar, Fla.

        It was an easy call for the Democratic National Committee — they didn’t have to cut anyone, since exactly 20 candidates met the qualification criteria. (You can see the list of who made it in our latest story on the debates.)


  8. JohnInDenverJohnInDenver says:

    My favorite part from Trump is:

    At a Senate hearing on May 7, FBI Director Chris Wray said such attempts should be reported. Trump appointed Wray after firing James Comey. “My view is that, if any public official or member of any campaign is contacted by any nation-state or anybody acting on behalf of a nation-state about influencing or interfering with our election, then that is something that the FBI would want to know about,” Wray testified.

    Asked about this statement by ABC anchor George Stephanopoulos, Trump said, “The FBI director is wrong.”


  9. itlduso says:


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