Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal says this week’s ABC News interview with President Trump exposed a legal loophole in federal law concerning contact by foreign governments with political campaigns.
Here’s part of the ABC News interview;
[STEPHANOPOULOS] “Your campaign this time around; if a foreign, if Russia, if
China, someone else offers you information on an opponent, should they
accept it or should they call the FBI?” [TRUMP] “I think maybe you do both.
I think you might 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.”
The New York Times says that part of the George Stephanopolous interview has “renewed questions about his (the President’s) willingness to profit from the aid of a hostile foreign power.”
Six weeks ago, Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal introduced a proposed law that would require campaigns and candidates to report to the FBI any assistance offered by foreign nationals. It got very little attention.
Senator Blumenthal saying, “The President’s interview on ABC has given this proposal a lot of legs. We now have 31 co-sponsors in the House. More and more both in the Senate and the House are interested.”
It is currently against federal law to accept and use information from foreign governments but there is no current law requiring that the contact be reported to the FBI or other authorities. Blumenthal’s proposed ‘Duty to Report Act’ would make it a legal requirement, Blumenthal adding, “The President of the United States, in a very backhanded way, has called attention to, not only his own lack of morality, but also a loophole in the law.”
Following all the blow back following the Stephanopoulus interview, President Trump called into a show on the Fox News Channel today to say; “Of course you give it to the FBI or report it to the Attorney General… you couldn’t have that happen with our country.”
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