A new phony scandal spurred a fresh round of faux outrage against President Donald Trump, this time over a response he gave to a hypothetical question about being offered “dirt” on a political opponent by a foreign nation.
The media-manufactured uproar over Trump’s remarks spilled out onto Capitol Hill on Thursday, and it wasn’t long before Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) was surrounded by reporters seeking his condemnation of the president, which Graham, in a way, obliged, saying that the “right answer” to a foreign offer of money or information is “no” — while pointing out the Democrats’ double standard.
Trump on foreign sourced dirt: “I think I’d want to hear it”
In an interview Wednesday in the White House, Trump was asked a hypothetical question by ABC News chief anchor George Stephanopoulos, specifically, whether his 2020 campaign would accept information on his opponent provided by a foreign nation or if they would alert the FBI.
“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,” Trump replied.
Stephanopoulos suggested that would constitute “interference” in a U.S. election, but Trump retorted, “It’s not an interference, they have information. I think I’d take it. 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, but 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,” he added.
Sen. Graham: “I think it’s a mistake”
The media ran wild with shouts of “treason” that President Trump would dare even consider accepting information on an opponent from a foreign source, and totally ignored where he clearly stated he’d alert the FBI if he believed that were necessary, or that Hillary Clinton’s failed 2016 campaign had done exactly that with the British spy-compiled, Russian-sourced, anti-Trump Steele “dossier.”
Reporters tracked down Graham in the halls of the Senate building on Thursday and pressed him on what Trump had said. Graham said, “Whether it be money or information on your opponent, the right answer is no. And I’ve been consistent about that.”
“I’m hoping some of my Democratic colleagues will take more seriously the fact that (former British spy) Christopher Steele was a foreign agent paid for by the Democratic party to gather dirt on Trump, a document unverified and used to get a warrant. That’s why I’m so upset about that,” he continued.
“Foreign influence in our elections is growing, not lessening. We don’t want to send a signal to encourage it. So that’s why I think looking at the FISA process regarding the Steele dossier is important,” Graham added.
The senator was asked about the “implications” of Trump saying it was “OK” to accept “dirt” from foreign sources. Graham replied, “I think it’s a mistake. I think it’s a mistake of law. I don’t want to send a signal to encourage this, and I hope my Democratic colleagues will be equally offended by the fact that this actually did happen in 2016, where a foreign agent paid for by a political party to gather opposition research. All of those things are wrong.”
As to whether members of Congress had done the same, as Trump had suggested, Graham said, speaking for only himself, “The answer is no. It’s got to be no.”
Graham is 100 percent correct in pointing out the glaring double standard — if Democrats are going to be angry over Trump hypothetically accepting dirt on an opponent from a foreign source, then they should be doubly enraged by how Clinton’s campaign actually sought out and paid for dirt on Trump from foreign sources.