Government - Trump Says He'd Take Foreign Info
Critics of Donald Trump are blasting him for telling a reporter that if a foreign government offered him information on a political opponent, he'd take it and not call the FBI.
That is, of course, at the heart of accusations that Trump and his campaign colluded with Russian to influence the 2016 presidential election. The stunning statement came in an interview with ABC News correspondent George Stephanopoulos in the Oval Office.
"I think maybe you do both," Trump said when Stephanopolous gave him a hypothetical choice - call the FBI to report election interference, or listen if a foreign adversary such as Russia, China or another government contacted his campaign.
"I think you might want to listen. There's nothing wrong with listening," he added. "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."
That brought rebukes from across the political spectrum, although weighted heavily from the Democrats and top former government security officials.
Republican former Massachusetts governor William Weld - who plans to challenge Trump for the 2020 Republican presidential nomination - said Trump must stand down.
"Under no circumstance should any candidate accept or use information about a political opponent gained from a foreign power - especially one who seeks the destruction of our democracy like Russia or China - to influence the outcome of an American election," Weld said on social media. "This latest statement again proves we have a president with no respect for the rule of law and lacking a basic sense of right and wrong. Mr. President, resign. For once in your life put the good of the country first. America deserves better."
"'Unfit to be President' is a gross understatement," said former CIA Director John Brennan, who said Trump is "undeserving of any public office, and all Americans should be outraged."
Democratic Presidential candidates Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Sen. Kirsten Gillebrand of New York both said Trump should be impeached. Senator Kamala Harris, a former prosecutor from California, said, "China is listening. Russia is listening. North Korea is listening," nothing the dangers of announcing that the US electoral system has just been offered up for foreign interference by Trump "Let's speak the truth: this president is a national security threat."