U.S. President Donald Trump has said that he would be willing to accept information from a foreign country about his political opponent in the 2020 election if it was offered, arguing that such behavior would not be condoning foreign interference in the electoral process.
Asked in a June 12 interview by ABC News whether his advisers should accept information from Russia, China, or another country about a political opponent, Trump said: “I think you might want to listen. There’s nothing wrong with listening. If somebody called from a country – Norway – we have information on your opponent. Oh, I think I’d want to hear it.”
One of Trump’s Democratic challengers, former Vice President Joe Biden, criticized Trump’s remarks on Twitter.
“President Trump is once again welcoming foreign interference in our elections,” Biden tweeted. “This isn’t about politics. It is a threat to our national security. An American President should not seek their aid and abet those who seek to undermine democracy.”
Several other opponents who are seeking the Democratic Party’s nomination for the presidential election repeated their calls to begin impeachment hearings following Trump’s remarks. They included three U.S. Senators – Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and Kirsten Gillibrand – and former congressman Beto O’Rourke.
Trump has denied that Russia helped him win the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
His latest comments came just a month after he pledged not to use information stolen by foreign adversaries in his 2020 reelection campaign.