(CNSNews.com) - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Thursday that President Donald Trump has demonstrated that he doesn’t know “right from wrong” with his comments Wednesday to ABC’s George Stephanopolous that there’s nothing wrong with listening to opposition research from a foreign government and that he himself would want to hear it.
“Yesterday, the president gave us once again evidence that he does not know right from wrong. It’s a very sad thing, very sad thing that he does not know right from wrong. I believe that he has been involved in a criminal cover-up. I’ve said that before, and our investigation is demonstrating that,” Pelosi told reporters at her weekly Capitol Hill press conference.
“The Mueller report showed obstruction of justice in 10 - at least 10 - perhaps 11 places, but for the president to be so cavalier to disregard, to be indifferent to wrong and any sense of ethics about who we are as a country to say he would invite foreign intervention … that’s an assault on our democracy,” she said.
“This president says it’s a hoax. He takes an oath to protect and defend the Constitution, but I guess it doesn’t include him in terms of being … held accountable to obey the law,” the speaker said.
Pelosi said the Democrats are putting forth legislation that requires “a duty to report” when someone from a foreign entity offers opposition research on another political campaign. She described a time when someone from Al Gore’s campaign received opposition research during the debate prep with George W. Bush.
“He picked it up and sent it to the FBI. This isn’t even foreign governments… that’s what you do,” the speaker said.
Pelosi said Trump’s comments to Stephanopolous last night “shows clearly once again, over and over again that he does not know the difference between right and wrong, and that’s probably the nicest thing I can say about him.”
“If he doesn’t know the difference, it could explain some of his ridiculous behavior, and now to invite further involvement of foreign governments into our election. There was an assault on our democracy, an assault on our country by the Russians. That has been clearly documented by the intelligence community, and the president of the United States has said...it’s a hoax,” she said.
In an Oval Office interview, 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.”
"Undemocratic. UnAmerican. Disgraceful," said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on Thursday.
"The president's comments suggest winning an election is more important than the integrity of the election," Schumer said. "It's "one small step away from dictators and autocrats who manipulate the results of an election because they care more about staying in power than they care about democratic principles."
Schumer said, "It's simple. When a foreign power tries to give campaign information on an opponent, that is foreign interference in our elections."
Schumer said it is up to Congress to protect against such interference.