“Thank You Jason Chaffetz!” President Donald Trump tweeted Thursday, including video of former Rep. Jason Chavettz (R-Utah) calling out media and Democrats for expressing “fake outrage” over Trump’s comment that he might be willing to listen to opposition research information offered by a foreign government, like Norway.
Asked to react to Trump’s comment, Chaffetz told Fox News that the president’s remarks were being taken out of context as part of an ongoing pattern of contrived, fake outrage:
“Well, you need to listen to what he said first. He said he would do both. He would inform the FBI and he would listen. If that was wrong, he would escalate it to the FBI.
“This fake outrage from the left and the media is just part of a pattern here.”
“Of course, he can listen,” Chaffetz said, citing times media ignored then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton benefitting from foreign relationships as proof that their current outrage is fake:
“Remember, it was Hillary Clinton’s husband, the former president, President Clinton who, I think it was 11 times, took more than five hundred thousand dollars for a speech - 11 times, while Secretary Clinton was the acting secretary of state and, presumably, a candidate for president of the United States.
“There was no outrage on that. They were taking five hundred thousand dollars out of Russia, for instance, and other countries. Come on, they are faking the idea that they’re exasperated by the president’s answer.
“Of course he can listen.”
“Even single campaign that I know of would listen” for foreign-offered information before deciding whether to report it to the FBI, Chaffetz said, adding that Hillary Clinton’s campaign didn’t just accept foreign-provided information – it proactively spent “millions of dollars overseas” to obtain it:
“First, he said he would do both. Then, he said that. I think that’s just fine.
“Remember, that is markedly different than what Hillary Clinton did by proactively spending millions of dollars overseas to engage somebody – a foreign national – to dig up dirt on her opponent. The president isn’t suggesting that he would proactively do that. But, if somebody approached him.
“Every single campaign I know of would listen to that material first. They absolutely would.”