U.S. President donald trump may well have accepted information from foreign sources during the election campaign that could have been damaging to his opponent.
"I think I was going to accept that," trump said in response to a question about it in an interview with the U.S. Television station ABC, which was published on wednesday evening (local time). "This is not interference."It is simply a matter of information.
Asked whether his campaign team should accept such tips – from russia or china, for example – or whether it would be better to involve the federal bureau of investigation, trump said, "I think you should probably do both." But he emphasized: "i think you should listen to this. There is nothing wrong with listening to it."
Trump said these were simply inquiries about his political opponent – and such inquiries are quite common, even among members of congress. "They all do it," he claimed.
Only if he felt that something was wrong, he would call the FBI, said trump. At the same time, the U.S. President stressed: "in my entire life, I have never called the FBI."The fbi doesn’t have enough people to take care of this kind of thing.
To the interviewer’s objection that, according to the FBI leadership, it is necessary to involve the federal police in such cases, trump replied: "the FBI chief is wrong about that."
The interview was recorded in the oval office. The passage on this topic takes less than two minutes, but it has political explosive power.
Trump’s revisions come just days before he is set to launch his campaign for the next presidential election in 2020. They come just weeks after special counsel robert mueller concluded his russia investigation. And anyway, it is quite remarkable that the president of the united states talks in a chatty tone about the fact that for his re-election campaign he would resort to dirty information from abroad if necessary to gain an advantage over a political rival.
On thursday, trump followed up on twitter and defended his attacks. He speaks constantly with foreign governments and talks about everything there. "Should i call the fbi immediately about these phone calls and meetings? How laughable!"
Special investigator mueller had been investigating for about two years whether trump’s campaign team had colluded with representatives of russia and whether trump later, when he was already president, obstructed the judicial investigation into this. Background of the investigation was the alleged interference of moscow in the US presidential election campaign 2016.
Mueller had declared that he and his team had proven clear efforts by russia to influence the 2016 presidential election. Russia is said to have interfered in the election campaign with hacking attacks in order to help trump and to harm his democrat rival at the time, hillary clinton. The russian government has so far consistently rejected such accusations.
Mueller’s final report says there were numerous contacts between trump’s camp and representatives of russia. But evidence of a crime was not available. In addition, mueller’s team listed in various attempts by trump to influence the investigation. While mueller loved openly whether trump was guilty of obstruction of justice. However, he did not explicitly absolve the president of this accusation, but left everything else in the hands of the US congress.
There, even after the conclusion of mueller’s work, the democrats are pressing ahead with various investigations against trump and his entourage. As recently as thursday, the house of representatives intelligence committee issued more subpoenas: for former national security adviser michael flynn and ex-adviser from trump’s campaign team rick gates. Both are thus required under threat of punishment, on 10. July to testify before the panel.
Trump complains bitterly almost every day about the investigations against him. However, with his new remarks, he is providing the democrats with new arguments in the debate.
The leader of the U.S. House of representatives, nancy pelosi, wrote on twitter on thursday that the russians had attacked the U.S. Election and that trump was now giving them the green light to do so again. U.S. House of representatives judiciary committee chairman jerry nadler called trump’s revisions shocking. Other high-ranking democrats also reacted with disgust.
But trump’s remarks also caused irritation in his own ranks. Republican senator lindsey graham – usually an ardent defender of the president – said thursday of trump’s statements, "i think this is a mistake."