the national interest

Trump Goes on TV to Solicit 2020 Foreign Collusion

Photo: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump today claimed, falsely, that the Mueller report found not only no collusion with Russia but that his campaign “rebuffed” offers of help from Moscow. But apparently Trump regrets his imaginary decision to refuse help from Russia, since he tells George Stephanopoulos in a new interview that, yes, if another foreign power offers him dirt on his next opponent, he’ll gladly take it:

“It’s not an interference, they have information — I think I’d take it,” Trump said. “If I thought there was something wrong, I’d go maybe to the FBI — if I thought there was something wrong. But when somebody comes up with oppo research, right, they come up with oppo research, ‘Oh, let’s call the FBI.’ The FBI doesn’t have enough agents to take care of it. When you go and talk, honestly, to congressmen, they all do it, they always have, and that’s the way it is. It’s called oppo research.”

Of course, in the last election, Russia stole emails from Trump’s opponent, and Trump not only exploited that crime but also made repeated attempts to get more stolen emails.

Perhaps more revealingly, Trump reiterated his view that he would not go to the FBI. Trump hates flippers, he’s a stand-up guy, not a rat, and he respects the omertà:

“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,” Trump continued. “Oh, give me a break — life doesn’t work that way.”

Trump continues to show every sign of hoping and expecting to benefit from foreign collusion in 2020. In May, he intended to send Rudy Giuliani to Ukraine to pressure the government to supply dirt on Joe Biden. He and his ally, Mitch McConnell, are blocking measures (including ones with bipartisan support) to help safeguard elections against foreign attacks and social-media propaganda. His message to Russia, or any other government that wants a close relationship with him, is obvious: Do anything you can to help me win.

Trump Goes on TV to Solicit 2020 Foreign Collusion