It is widely expected that if an outside government offers help to an American political campaign, one should reject said help and contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) immediately.
Well, that was true until the age of Trump.
On Wednesday, Donald Trump sat down for an interview with ABC News. The subject accepting political help from foreign nations came up, and when asked what should be done, or whether he should contact the FBI if such communications occurred, Trump explained his position:
“I think maybe you do both. 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.”
This is of special interest right now, considering that the crux of much of the investigation conducted by Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III was regarding the question of whether or not Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign colluded with Russia in order to tip the election in Trump’s favor.
Part of that investigation included a meeting in which Donald Trump, Jr., Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, and other members of Team Trump that promised dirt on his then-opponent Hillary Clinton. Clearly, this sort of activity made people suspicious.
FBI Director Christopher Wray explicitly said while under oath before Congress that the sort of help Trump is talking about here should be rejected and reported to the FBI. Trump, however, believed that Wray’s solution to such a situation is not the right one.
“The FBI Director is wrong,” Trump told ABC News.
It is quite likely that the FBI Director, more experienced politicians, lawyers, political operatives, judges, and, most importantly, members of Congress would disagree with Trump.
Whether or not he listens to them should an opportunity to obtain political dirt in such a questionable fashion arises is something that will only be known if and when it happens.
Shannon Barber is a progressive queer feminist and budding political scientist. She is passionate about issues of social justice, including but not limited to racial equality, criminal justice reform, pro-Black politics, and LGBTQ equality. She hopes to change the world, one mind at a time.