TRUMP SAYS HE’D TAKE DIRT ON AN OPPONENT FROM FOREIGN GOVERNMENT; FEC CHAIR CONFIRMS THAT’S ILLEGAL

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By Miriam Raftery
 
Photos: President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin
 
June 14, 2019 (Washington D.C.) – President Donald Trump has sent shockwaves through the nation’s capital after he told ABC news that if a foreign government offered him dirt on a political opponent in the 2020 election, “I think I’d want to hear it…I think I’d take it.”  

But a top federal elections regulator, several Republican Senators and Democratic presidential candidates have all issued statements sharply critical of the President’s remarks – and made clear that accepting any such help from a foreign power is a crime.
 
Trump later added, “If I thought there was something wrong, I’d go maybe to the FBI.” Trump also said he believes FBI director Christopher Wray was “wrong” when he testified to Congress that campaign workers should always report offers of help from foreign entities to the FBI.
 
Federal Election Commission (FEC) Chair Ellen L. Weintraub  today issued this statement on illegal contributions from foreign governments:  “Let me make something 100% clear to the American public and anyone running for public office. It is illegal for any person to solicit, accept, or receive anything of value from a foreign national in connection with a U.S. election.”
 
She adds that this is not a novel concept. “Electoral intervention from foreign governments has been considered unacceptable since the beginnings of our nation,” the FEC Chair notes. “Our Founding Fathers sounded the alarm about `foreign Interference, Intrigue and Influence.’ They knew that when foreign governments seek to influence American politics it is always to advance their own interests, not America’s.” 
 
She states pointedly, “Anyone who solicits or accepts foreign assistance risks being on the wrong end of a federal investigation,” adding that any such offer to a campaign should be reported to the FBI.”
 
Trump’s remark came shortly after Jared Kushner, his son-in-law, said he wasn’t sure if he would report an offer of foreign help to the FBI. Trump’s lawyer, Rudolph Giuliani, has met with Ukranian officials recently for information on former Vice President Joe Biden, Trump’s potential opponent in 2020, regarding Biden’s son’s ties to a Ukranian gas company. Giuliani has insisted this is not illegal, the Washington Post reports. 
 
But even many top Republicans and Trump allies admit that such actions do violate federal law.  Senator Lindsey Graham, a staunch Trump supporter, says he told the President, “The law is pretty clear. You can’t take anything of value from a foreign government,” Politico reports. Utah Senator Mitt Romney, a former Republican Presidential nominee, stated bluntly, “Accepting the work product of a foreign government or the effort of a foreign government to try and influence an election of one candidate or another? It simply strikes at the heart of our democracy. It’s wrong.”
 
Colorado Senator Cory Gardner made clear that any foreign information offered on a candidate’s opponent “should be turned over to the FBI, pure and simple.”
 
Senator Susan Collins of Maine similarly states that the appropriate response “if the president or any other federal presidential candidates is approached” by a hostile government is to “call the FBI.”
 
Only Senate Leader Mitch McConnell, who has himself taken massive campaign contributions from Russians, took a different view, blaming Democrats whom he says “are trying to keep the 2016 election alive and the investigation alive when the American people have heard enough.”
 
During his 2016 campaign, Trump infamously quipped “Russia, are you listening?” and suggested Russia should hack Hilary Clinton’s emails.  In fact, they did. A Russian lawyer later met with top Trump campaign aides and the President’s son, Donald Trump Jr., promising to dish up damaging information on Clinton. 
 
Robert Mueller, special prosecutor, stated in his report after analyzing that meeting that a foreign entity providing free opposition research to a campaign could exert “a greater effect on an election, and a greater tendency to ingratiate the donor to the candidate.”  
 
Larry Noble, former general counsel for the FEC, has made clear, “A contribution is anything of value.  Opposition research is clearly something of value. If a campaign tells a foreign government it would accept opposition research they’ve gathered, it is soliciting a foreign contribution, which is illegal.  If the campaign accepts the opposition research, it is accepting a prohibited foreign contribution.”
 
Numerous Democratic presidential contenders also blasted Trump’s statements.
 
Biden posted on Twitter, “President Trump is once again welcoming foreign interference in our elections. This isn’t about politics. It is a threat to our national security. An American President should not seek their aid and abet those who seek to undermine democracy.”
 
California Senator Kamala Harris tweeted, “China is listening. Russia is listening. North Korea is listening. Let’s speak the truth: this president is a national security threat.”
 
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders said on CNN, ““We have a president that neither understands the Constitution of the United States or respects the Constitution,” Sanders said, describing Trump as “somebody who does not believe in the separation of powers and somebody who thinks he’s above the law.”
 
 
 
 
 
 

Comments

WHEW! :-()

It's getting HOT in here... Good and proper link Dennis, thank you. Now if only the naysayers would actually read the informative print, and watch the news (all stations) instead of blowing hot air in a vain attempt to agitate others. AKA, Internet Flaming. No, Trump's tenure hasn't been all bad, he has done some things I like, yet a deep look into what he's done publicly and a deeper look into what he's done in the background where it seems some people don't care to check, many dust bunnies will be found. Read the fine print.

Why even bother

Why even bother trying to have civil conversations with these people Miriam, Grandpa, Dennis, The moment you continue arguing with a ignorant fool, you’ve already lost. These people aren’t the least bit interested in getting to truth. They’re only addicted to the thrill of tearing it and you down. Cheap thrills for them just like we see their Presidential role model does who heavily relies on their stupidity. I respect your patience with them but they are clearly beyond appreciating what you bring to the table and that same gift of patience they regularly and proudly disrespect. 

President Trump / Dirt

Your report wasn’t the full story. Trump said he would contact the FBI. You are trying to be a reporting source for the citizens of El Cajon. You put a photo of Trump and Putin together which was sensationalism, and disrespectful of our president. Your reply to me was readers need to click on the whole story as it was just a “teaser”. It is perfectly clear to me and others you are anti Trump. You hide the truth by making the reader go to another page to read the full story, when you know darn well most won’t. How about being a responsible journalist and not just another fake news source?

Newsflash, Dennis....

Voters don't care about the Mueller report, no collusion, no obstruction, its over.....your side lost.....time to move on. While you folks continue to obsess over hypotheticals, hearsay and "anonymous sources", the rest of us have moved on to more real topics, like Immigration, healthcare and the economy. Need proof? Even CNN's polls show the interest in Russia at 0.0% - And its certainly not MY friends and family they're polling either, consider that! Now, put the shovel down and use the hole you've dug for the past 2 1/2 years to bury the horse you've beaten to death. Let today be the day you learn the grace of letting go and the power of moving on.

:-/

It would appear that some people will rally behind Trump no matter what he says or does. Trump has done some very heinous things during his reign, and even before in his prior life. The FACTS are out there if a person really wanted to know (it's called unbiased research), yet some choose not to. I know republicans who are disgusted with Trump and wish he was gone. Personally, I don't care about political party, I'm registered 'non partisan'. For me it's about job performance, integrity, and so on. This applies to anyone in politics. ECM biased? I don't think so. FACTS - many news sources are reporting similar stories. They can't all be biased, or wrong. Let's hope that the American people won't have to deal with this current president for another term!

Phoohy Grandpa!

Put your dam facts in your submissions and not empty bull like your "heinous things" etc. I base and value judgment on what a persons does, not what is said by him or anyone else. l. He has done a good job for America. 2. I have also accused the ECM of bias and I have been calling them out on it. Just posting to see your own bias imparts nothing of value to me or anyone else.

Everything you publish

In Politics is bias, that’s a fact and easy to prove. Don’t hide from it, have some integrity and own it for once. Every piece you choose to run on Trump and the current administration is negative, bar none.

This is an administration that is caging children,

obstructing justice, instructing press secretaries and cabinet officials to lie, villifying the press, refusing to spend money allocated by Congress to prevent cyber-crimes and hacking of our elections in 2020, slashing fire protection for California, and has a president that suggests he would want to take Russian intelligence on an opponent despite surely knowing that's not legal.  Integrity means telling the truth -- and all of those things are true and verifiable. Many of his actions have been sexist and racist.

On the rare occasions when he's done something decent we have reported so with stories like this one, where he spoke out against anti-Semitism after the Poway synagogue shooting:  https://www.eastcountymagazine.org/poway-rabbi-mayor-goldstein-and-el-ca....

Believe me, I wish he would do a lot more decent things so that we would have more positive stories to report.

 

You're fooling no one but yourself,

The fake outrage over the caging of children comment is so overplayed, it's almost as bad as Russian Collusion. My fellow Americans, the ones who voted with me in the last election, know all too well the tricks the press and the media use to distort the facts. We're onto you, your tactics are no longer effective. Every one of us realize that if these invaders coming across our Southern border were benefiting the conservative side, you liberals would be out there on your hands and knees building the wall yourselves, that's a fact. You want to call a detention center with a chainlink fence around it a cage? Go right ahead, but you're not fooling anyone but your own foolish base.

My outrage over caging children, denying them medication

and having some die is very real.  While a debate is clearly needed over what level of immigration is appropriate and how to determine what asylum claims are legit or whether other countries should take their fair share, the abuse of the children is horrific and should not be tolerated. If you really don't care about the health and safety of chldren then just please go away, beause cruelty towards children is something all decent people should denounce regardless of one's political views. The chldren are not the threat, they are not "invaders" they are little kids who are scared. Thousands of them have been physically and in many cases sexually abused in U.S. custody.  They are sleeping on the cold ground and recently dozens were left in a sweltering truck for over 24 hours.  Those are not American values, and this is sounding more and more like concentration camps, not temporary detention.  They are also taking away toys and recreation for children and ripping babies from mothers' arms.  If you support that, you're inhumane.

Selective outrage...

Were you just as outraged when the same thing was taking place under the Obama administration? Did you report on it then? Remember when the fake news media published pictures of children in cages and tried to blame Trump for it and those pictures turned out to have been taken during the Obama administration and not Trump's? I do!. No one in the current administration is advocating for cruelty to, or inhumane treatment of children and to suggest otherwise is ludicrous. Most of these children are pawns, driven and coached to come here by the likes of George Soros and his sponsored organizations. What exactly do you propose the ICE officials are supposed to do when 5000 unaccompanied minors show up at the door? We’re not capable of housing that kind of volume and we can’t release them unaccompanied in either direction, so what then? I blame you liberals for everything these kids are going through, not Trump, because if it weren’t for the sponsorship and direction of of the Left, they wouldn’t be here in the first place. You folks are using them like playing cards, you’re no better than those you despise.

What we should do is ask the United Nations to help and

treat this like other refugee crises around the world. The UN could set up and run refugee camps and determine which are to be assigned refugee status. The UN does vetting and then asks multiple countries to each take some of those deemd refugees actually fleeing violence, but no one country would be overburned.  Mexico, Canada, the U.S. and some of the more stable countries in South America for example could all be asked to accept some.  Meanwhile the UN runs camps in a manner that assures that all people there have food, water, basic sanitation, the kids are treated humanely and get healthcare etc.  We have not reached out to the UN or other international refugee aid groups for help. This is different than migrants of the past who were mostly from Mexico and mostly seeking work. Most of these are Central Americans who are fleeing violence.  Mass migrations have occurred elsewhere, in African and Southeast Asia, and this is how it was generally handled. No system is perfect, but the facts are that children are routinely being treated inhumanely under the Trump administration and not just for a couple of days when they first arrive at overcrowded facilities, but systemically and long term.

 

Give us your illegals, uneployed, sick and destitute

America the Beautiful! Our founders did not have anything to do with that worthless United Nations and we Americans receive little value from it. So you advocate that we are not smart or strong enough to take care of our own house? Bull Crap! It is the dogged worthless left do nothing Democrats in Congress that are obstructionists, President Trump haters and trash!

Caging Children #2

Caging Children happened under O'bama. Was ECM around then? Slashing Fire Protection in California? Why should my Federal taxes go to my own home state, when those at Sacramento throw dirt into our faces declaring California something other than one inclusive on our Flag?

No caging children is a Trump issue.

Obama never separated chlidren from their real parents. The only kids that wound up in faciliites were the ones who arrived here alone, with no parents, or those where the adults turned out to be  traffickers, not really the children's parents. And the kids were not treated with the cruelty we are seeing now. They had beds, education, toys etc. other than perhaps the first couple of days.  There were a handful of isolated cases that were questionable but not the massive abuse of power we see now.  A new story the past week repots that THOUSANDS of children in custody under Trump have been sexually abused.  Don't even try to justify that. If they hadn't been taken forcibly from parents, that would not have happened.

We quoted 4 Republican Senators and 3 Democrats. No bias.

also the FEC director is in Trump's own administration.   Apparently your version of unbiased would mean quoting 100% Republicans, which no legitimate media outlet would do.

In this case not a single Republican in Congress has defended Trump on this issue,that we've seen, so even his own party members recognizing that accepting information from a hostile foreign power to influence an election is illegal and wrong. Do you really believe that it's okay for a President to sell out U.S. interests and be beholden to a foreign power to win an election in defiance of the law?

Criticism of our President

Easy to see that this ECM article naming around 10 left Democrats, Presidential candidates and "numerous others" is bias.