When you talk as much as President Trump does, you’re bound to say a pretty dumb thing at one point or another.
That’s just what Trump did on Wednesday in an Oval Office interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos, saying he would not necessarily contact the FBI if he was offered dirt on his opponent from a foreign government.
When Stephanopoulos referenced FBI Director Christopher Wray’s directive that those who receive incriminating information on a presidential candidate from a foreign power call the bureau, Trump said: “The FBI director is wrong.”
“It’s not an interference. They have information. I think I’d take it. If I thought there was something wrong, I’d go maybe to the FBI, if I thought there was something wrong,” the president said.
Trump continued: “I think I’d want to hear it … I think you might want to listen, there isn’t anything wrong with listening,” he said, arguing he would view it as a type of “opposition research” that candidates dig up on opponents.
“If somebody called from a country — Norway — ‘we have information on your opponent’ — oh, I think I’d want to hear it.”
The mainstream media went nuts. “Trump throws open 2020 election to foreign spies,” CNN wrote in an “analysis.”
“President Donald Trump just made a staggering offer to every foreign spy agency and American enemy: Have at the 2020 election — especially if you have dirt that can help him win. Even in a presidency that long ago burned through all conceivable superlatives, Trump’s statement was a stunner,” wrote former reporter Stephen Collinson.
Rep. Jerrold Nalder, the New York Democrat who heads the House Judiciary Committee and has been pushing impeachment, said: “It is shocking to hear the President say outright that he is willing to put himself indebt to a foreign power… not to mention the foreign interference in an American election part.”