Liberal Fury, After Trump Says He Might Take Info on His Opponent From 'Foreigners'

Susan Jones | June 13, 2019 | 10:09am EDT
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ABC's George Stephanopoulos interviewed President Trump in the Oval Office on June 12, 2019. (Photo: Screen capture)

( - Anti-Trump cable news channels and politicians erupted Wednesday night and Thursday morning, after President Donald Trump told ABC's George Stephanopoulos that he just might listen to a foreign government that claimed to have dirt on his opponent.

One House Democrat said it may be time to pass a law requiring political candidates to tell the FBI if they are offered such information from a foreign government.

CNN's John Berman asked Rep. Katherine Clark (D-Mass.) if Congress needs to pass a law:

"Apparently we do," Clark said. "Because what we saw was a president in the Oval Office saying he would do this all over again. That he will continue to put the rule of law, to put the Constitution, to put the American people behind anything that might give him some personal advantage."

Clark said Trump's comments highlight the importance of Congress "continuing to be aggressive in getting these facts out to the American people."

"We are having the hearings and we need to pursue this. We need to take our ability, our responsibility under the Constitution for oversight and investigation so deadly seriously. And we need to make the case about this president and this administration.

“And we need for our partners, our colleagues across the aisle, to join us. Where is the outrage?” Clark asked.

“We have passed a bill in HR-1 that will protect our voting and our elections from just this kind of foreign interference. It is sitting at the Senate door. We need the Senate to do their job. We need Republicans to join us and say, this is unacceptable. And that we must stand for the Constitution."

Clark did not explicitly call for Trump's impeachment. "We have two things standing in our way," she said. One is a giant cover-up and stonewall from this president and this administration.

"But the second part of it is, we have a judge and jury which are the Senate in this case, who've already told us they will not convict. They've already told us that they will side with the president and this case is closed," Clark said.

"So what we must do to uphold our oath of office is pursue as aggressively as we can, using the tools we have, to make the case for the American people."

The president’s conversation with ABC's George Stephanopoulos in the Oval Office went like this:

Stephanopoulos asked Trump if his son Donald Trump Jr. should have gone to the FBI when he received an email promising Russian "dirt" on Hillary Clinton.

“OK, let's put yourself in a position, you're a congressman," Trump said. “Somebody comes up and says, hey, I have information on your opponent. Do you call the FBI?

"I’ve seen a lot of things in my life. I don't think in my whole life I've called the FBI. In my whole life. You don't call the FBI -- you throw somebody out of your office you do whatever—"

Stephanopoulos, interrupting, noted that Al Gore called the FBI when he was given a briefing book stolen from his political rival.

"Well, that's different, the stolen briefing book," Trump said. This isn't a stol-- this is somebody that said we have information on your opponent. Oh -- let me call the FBI. Give me a break. Life doesn't work that way.”

Stephanopoulos told Trump that FBI Director Christopher Wray has said a person must call the FBI in that situation.

“The FBI director is wrong," Trump said.

Stephanopoulos asked Trump, "Your campaign, this time around. Foreigners -- if Russia, if China, someone else, offers you information on an opponent, should they accept it or should they call the FBI?"

“I think maybe do both," Trump said. "I think you might want to listen. There’s nothing wrong with listening. If someone called from a country -- Norway -- we have information on your opponent – Oh. I think I'd want to hear it.”

“You want that kind of interference in our elections?" Stephanopoulos asked.

“It's not an interference," Trump said. "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.

“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. But you go and talk honestly to congressmen -- they all do it, they always have. That's the way it is. It's called oppo research.”

In asking Trump those questions, was Stephanopoulos running interference for former Vice President Joe Biden?

When Biden emerged as a potential rival to President Trump, various news outlets, including The New York Times, raised questions about Biden, his son Hunter, and their business dealings with Ukraine.

Just this week, Vanity Fair reported on conservative "talking points" and "conspiracy theories" involving Hunter Biden and Ukraine, which supposedly tried to influence the former vice president through his son.

Last month, President Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani canceled a trip to Ukraine. According to Politico: "Giuliani had said he was planning to meet with Ukraine’s president-elect, Volodymyr Zelensky, to encourage him to look into Hunter Biden’s involvement with a Ukrainian energy company and Joe Biden’s attempts as vice president to oust a Ukrainian prosecutor accused of ignoring corruption among the country’s elite."

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