President Trump has had a wee bit of trouble with his 2016 campaign’s enthusiasm for taking opposition intelligence from foreign officials. You may have heard about it.
But Trump himself faced no real consequences for the 2016 Trump Tower meeting in which his son and others expected to find out dirt about Hillary Clinton that could harm her in the election. No one has impeached him. He didn’t even have to testify in person to special counsel Robert Mueller. What motivation does he have to change his ways?
So of course that’s exactly what Trump told ABC News when asked what he’d do if presented with a similar opportunity in 2020.
ABC anchor George Stephanopoulos asked Trump in the Oval Office whether he’d take information offered about an opponent from a foreign government like Russia or China, or turn in over to the FBI.
“I think maybe you do both,” he responded.
“I think you might want to listen, there isn’t anything wrong with listening,” Trump added. “If somebody called from a country, Norway, [and said] ‘we have information on your opponent’—oh, I think I’d want to hear it.”
It’s truly incredible that nothing—absolutely nothing—that has happened over the past three years of scandal has made even a minor dent on our president’s mind. His brain is a teflon pan. Nothing sticks in that shit!!!
Later in the interview, Trump posited that a campaign receiving information from a foreign government wouldn’t count as election interference.
“It’s not an interference, they have information—I think I’d take it,” Trump told ABC. “If I thought there was something wrong, I’d go maybe to the FBI—if I thought there was something wrong. But when somebody comes up with oppo research, right, they come up with oppo research, ‘oh let’s call the FBI.’ The FBI doesn’t have enough agents to take care of it. When you go and talk, honestly, to congressman, they all do it, they always have, and that’s the way it is. It’s called oppo research.”
Sure, that makes sense.
When asked about the 2016 Trump Tower meeting between his son and Russian representatives, Trump reiterated his point.
“Somebody comes up and says, ‘hey, I have information on your opponent,’ do you call the FBI?” Trump told ABC.
“I’ll tell you what, I’ve seen a lot of things over my life. I don’t think in my whole life I’ve ever called the FBI. In my whole life. You don’t call the FBI. You throw somebody out of your office, you do whatever you do,” Trump added. “Oh, give me a break–life doesn’t work that way.”
“The FBI director said that is what should happen,” Stephanopoulos responded, uselessly.
“The FBI director is wrong, because frankly it doesn’t happen like that in life,” Trump said. “Now maybe it will start happening, maybe today you’d think differently.”
We’ve gotta hand it to the president: at least he’s not a snitch.