Another day, another eyebrow-raising Trump interview.
On Wednesday, the president sparked outcry after telling ABC News’s George Stephanopoulos that he would be “open” to accepting information about his political opponents from foreign countries rather than simply alert the FBI.
"If somebody called from a country, Norway, 'We have information on your opponent' — oh, I think I'd want to hear it," he said, adding, “I think you might want to listen, there isn’t anything wrong with listening.”
Though he disputed FBI Director Christopher Wray’s insistence that such material should be handed over to the FBI — “life doesn’t work that way,” Trump shot back — POTUS did concede that he might contact the feds in certain cases.
“It's not an interference, they have information — I think I'd take it," he told Stephanopoulos during the Oval Office interview. "If I thought there was something wrong, I'd go maybe to the FBI — if I thought there was something wrong."
Trump’s comments, on the heels of Robert Mueller’s determination that Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election, have renewed calls for him to face an impeachment hearing.
“You know, people just kind of roll their eyes at this point and it bears repeating this is not normal behavior of a president,” CNN’s Anderson Cooper said during his show Wednesday night.
“I’m not even sure, I don’t even know, if he understands or doesn’t care what the ramifications of this are, but if any other president had said anything resembling this, you know, Republicans in Congress would have, understandably, you know, called him a traitor.”
In addition to the Democratic candidates running for president, some of Trump’s most vocal celebrity critics have also decried his remarks.
Alyssa Milano tweeted that the “nation will never recover” from being complacent about Trump, while Rosie O’Donnell retweeted a message from Elizabeth Warren and echoed its call to impeach the president.
Well, that’s it. If we accept this as our norm...the nation will never recover. pic.twitter.com/v95zRZLraz
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) June 13, 2019
"I would take it"..not only did he take the info from the Russians, he's planning to do it again in the next election. https://t.co/Qwf21CbCIN
— Bette Midler (@BetteMidler) June 13, 2019
Frequent Trump critic Mark Hamill, meanwhile, called POTUS “our illegitimate ‘president’” and referenced a quote from John Adams to Thomas Jefferson warning against “foreign interference, intrigue and influence.”
John Adams wrote Thomas Jefferson on December 6, 1787, about American elections, “You are apprehensive of foreign interference, intrigue & influence. So am I." 👍
Our illegitimate "President" today: "Oh, give me a break- life doesn't work that way." 🤮#EmbarrassmentInChief https://t.co/zyRyOMYgtI
— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) June 13, 2019
“Here we go again,” added director Rob Reiner. “Trump admits on camera he would break the law again and welcome help from a foreign enemy power to win an election. Enough f***ing around!!! Impeach this a*****e!!!!”
The president did, however, face less heat from Fox News, where Sean Hannity predicted “fake, phony, moral selective outrage over that interview.” Host Laura Ingraham, meanwhile, questioned why Stephanopoulos was allowed to have access to Trump.
“Setting aside the question of why you would have George Stephanopoulos standing over the president in the Oval Office –– I don’t know who approved that –– what about this notion of accepting foreign intel about an opponent?” she asked. “Is that a risk for President Trump, getting pulled back into Mueller? Again, why he was put in that situation is beyond me.”
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