It is impossible to understate the profoundly evil nature of what Donald Trump told George Stephanopoulos on Wednesday. In an extended interview, Trump not only justified his prior collusion with Russia in the 2016 election, he also placed an open call for hostile foreign governments to do the same thing in 2020. It’s an unambiguous attempt to seek assistance from America’s enemies. This is Trump’s reelection campaign strategy.
The interview was an astonishing performance by an unabashed traitor to American laws and principles. What follows are a few of the most egregious segments that are profoundly disturbing and utterly inexcusable.
Stephanopoulos: But should [Don Jr] have gone to the FBI when he got that email?
Trump: Okay, let’s put yourself in a position: you’re a congressman, somebody comes up and says, “Hey I have information on your opponent.” Do you call the FBI? You don’t– 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. I don’t–you don’t call the FBI.
Actually, Trump has called the FBI at least twice according to FOIA documents, but only when it’s to his personal benefit.
Stephanopoulos: Al Gore got a stolen briefing book. He called the FBI.
Trump: Well, that’s different. A stolen briefing book. This isn’t– this is somebody who said, “We have information on your opponent.” Oh, let me call the FBI. Give me a break, life doesn’t work that way.
It’s not different. The information that Trump was seeking (Clinton’s and DNC emails) was also stolen information on his opponent. And calling the FBI is precisely the way it works, even according to Trump’s own FBI director, Christopher Wray. So Trump responded that…
Trump: The FBI Director is wrong. Because, frankly, it doesn’t happen like that in life.
Trump: If somebody comes into your office with oppo research– they call it oppo research–with information that might be good or bad or something, but good for you, bad for your opponent, you don’t call the FBI. I would guarantee you that 90 percent, could be 100 percent, of the congressmen or the senators over there, have had meetings–if they didn’t they probably wouldn’t be elected.
Here Trump is trying to conflate normal opposition research with his collusion with foreign governments, which is illegal. Then he cites some statistics that he’s pulled from his – assumptions and justifies the criminality because, as he says, everybody does it. So therefore it’s okay?
Stephanopoulos: Your campaign this time around, if foreigners, if Russia, if China, if someone else offers you information on opponents, should they accept it or should they call the FBI?
Trump: I think maybe you do both. I think you might want to listen, there’s nothing wrong with listening. If somebody called from a country, Norway, “we have information on your opponent.” Oh, I think I’d want to hear it.
Norway? It’s funny how Trump can’t bring himself to mention Russia. But more to the point, what he’s describing here is collusion, plain and simple. He goes on to say that he wouldn’t report it to the FBI because “the FBI doesn’t have enough agents to take care of it.” Sure, because there are only 13,412 special agents and 20,420 support professionals.
Trump may have point. 33,000 FBI agents might not be enough to investigate all of the crimes that he has committed. In this interview he said once that he might alert the FBI to unlawful communications with foreign governments. But he said four times that he wouldn’t. And he said it again in a series of tweets on Thursday morning:
….call the FBI about these calls and meetings? How ridiculous! I would never be trusted again. With that being said, my full answer is rarely played by the Fake News Media. They purposely leave out the part that matters.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 13, 2019
Notice that the examples he uses are our allies. Once again, he refuses to implicate Vladimir Putin and his pals in the Kremlin. He also fails to mention whether these talks included getting dirt on his opponents. He is deliberately trying to deflect from the real issue. And unfortunately, that will work on his Deplorable followers and his shills at Fox News.
The bottom line is that Trump’s remarks are a direct invitation to our enemies to engage in hacking or other illegal activities and pass along what they steal to Trump. He has already told them that he’d listen. So why wouldn’t they do it? He is unambiguously soliciting a criminal act. And for that alone Trump should be impeached and imprisoned.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.
EXCLUSIVE: Pres. Trump tells @GStephanopoulos he wouldn't necessarily alert the FBI if approached by foreign figures with information on his 2020 opponent: "It’s not an interference. They have information. I think I’d take it." https://t.co/yWRxMOsgiu pic.twitter.com/8Y4enHiqrd
— ABC News (@ABC) June 13, 2019