Norway, if you’re reading this, President Donald Trump definitely wants to know if you have any dirt on his 2020 opponents.
On Friday morning, President Trump doubled down on his assertion that he would gladly accept information from foreign actors on his election enemies.
"Of course you have to look at it because, if you don't look at it, you're not going to know if it's bad. How are you going to know if it's bad?" Trump told Fox & Friends on Friday morning.
It’s the second time Trump has said he would accept foreign intelligence in three days.
Despite that whole Robert Mueller investigation, the president first stirred new controversy earlier this week when he publicly told ABC News that he would totally listen to foreign intelligence about his enemies in the upcoming election. What’s the big deal, anyway?
"I think you might want to listen, there isn't anything wrong with listening," Trump continued. "If somebody called from a country, Norway, ‘We have information on your opponent' — oh, I think I'd want to hear it."
If you somehow don’t remember, Trump’s White House has been dogged by scandal after the revelation that the Russian government interfered in the 2016 U.S. election on his behalf. Mueller’s report concluded that there was insufficient evidence of willful collusion between Trump and the Russian government. Obstructing justice into that investigation was another matter; Mueller declined to clear him on that front, and said charging Trump was not an option due to Justice Department guidelines.
"If we had had confidence that he clearly did not commit a crime we would have said so," Mueller said.
But Trump doesn’t seem to have learned much from the Mueller probe. He says he would totally go ahead and see what foreign actors have to say about our election — be it China or, yes, Russia.
"I think you might want to listen. There’s nothing wrong with listening," he said. "It’s not an interference. They have information. I think I’d take it. If I thought there was something wrong, I’d go maybe to the FBI."
Trump’s 2020 campaign spokeswoman confirmed that Trump would handle offers of dirt on his election opponents on a “case-by-case basis.”
“He said he would likely do both: Listen to what they have to say, but also report it to the FBI," Kayleigh McEnany said.
His son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, though, said in an interview earlier this month that he didn’t know if he would alert the FBI if Russia privately approached him again.
In an Axios interview, Kushner was asked: “Would you call the FBI if it happened again?”
“I don’t know,” he replied. “It’s hard to do hypotheticals, but the reality is, is that we were not given anything that was salacious.”
Cover: Donald Trump campaigns in Staten Island, New York on April 17, 2016. (Photo by: zz/Dennis Van Tine/STAR MAX/IPx)