When presidential candidates are offered election help from foreign adversaries, the common practice is the report that offer to the FBI. This was the tact Al Gore took in 2000 when he was offered material before a debate with George W. Bush.
The Trump Team, however, did not tell the FBI about an offer from Russian Executives who may have had information on Hillary Clinton. On Wednesday night, Trump told George Stephanopoulos that he may not report the same kind of offer if he gets it in the lead up to 2020.
The ABC host referenced Donald Trump Jr., asking, “Should he have gone to the FBI when he got that email?” After some hemming and hawing, Trump replied, “I’ll tell you what, I’ve seen a lot of things over my life. I don’t think in my whole life I’ve ever called the FBI. In my whole life. You don’t call the FBI. You throw somebody out of your office, you do whatever you do-”
Stephanopoulos quickly jumped in, “ Al Gore got a stolen briefing book. He called the FBI.” Trump responded, “Well, that’s different, a stolen briefing book. This isn’t a stolen- This is somebody that said, “We have information on your opponent.” Oh, let me call the FBI. Give me a break. Life doesn’t work that way.”
Taking one last chance to see if Trump understood the magnitude of what he was saying, the host asked, “The FBI director says that’s what should happen.” The president tersely responded to Stephanopoulos, “ The FBI director is wrong.”
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Todd Neikirk is a New Jersey-based politics and technology writer. His work has been featured in psfk.com, foxsports.com, and PoliticusUSA. An avid pet lover, he has been known to contribute to Pet Lifestyles Magazine. He enjoys sports, politics, technology, and spending time at the shore with his family.