JayMac: Trump OK with foreign meddling in U.S. elections — again

Jun 13, 2019, 6:04 PM | Updated: 6:09 pm
Jaymac wonders if President Trump did not learn a lesson with foreign meddling in the last election...
FILE - Asked if he would accept damaging information on this 2020 Democratic opponents from a foreign government, Trump said "I think you might want to listen, there isn't anything wrong with listening" during an interview with ABC News on June 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

DISCLAIMER: the following is an opinion piece and does not necessarily reflect the views of KSL Newsradio or its ownership.

After special counsel Robert Mueller’s nearly two-year investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, President Donald Trump was asked during an ABC News interview if he would accept dirt from a foreign government on his 2020 Democratic opponents.

Here’s what Trump said: “I think you might want to listen; there isn’t anything wrong with listening” during an interview with George Stephanopoulos at the White House.

“I don’t think in my whole life I’ve ever called the FBI. In my whole life. You don’t call the FBI,” Trump said.

Stephanopoulos responded, “The FBI director said that is what should happen,” referring to FBI Director Christopher Wray testifying before Congress last month that the Bureau would want to know about any election meddling by foreign governments or agents.

“The FBI director is wrong,” said Trump.

Remember the context here is important:

U.S. intelligence agencies in January 2017 concluded “with high confidence” that the Russian government interfered in the election by hacking into the computer servers of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the personal Gmail account of Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta and forwarding their contents to WikiLeaks.

Russia stole this information and offered it to the Trump campaign.

“If somebody called from a country, Norway, [and said] ‘we have information on your opponent’ — oh, I think I’d want to hear it,” Trump said.

Norway? Really? Do you see the effort he is going through to take this out of context? This is about Russia and China, not Norway. If anyone should know that the focus is on Russia, again, in the 2020 elections, it’s Trump because of the two-year investigation of Russian meddling by Mueller, which was just recently concluded.

Stephanopoulos asked Trump if he didn’t think that a foreign government offering up information on an election opponent might not be inference (especially given Mueller, etc.).

“It’s not an interference, they have information — I think I’d take it,” Trump replied.

Stolen information from Russia, not Norway, and you’d be OK with taking it a second time?

Trump green-lights foreign interference

If you’re Russia, and you’re wondering, hey, should we monkey-wrench the U.S. elections again… well, why wouldn’t you. Wasn’t that just an open invitation to Russia and China from POTUS?

If you’re an elected official or running for office, you’ve got to be thinking: I wonder if Russia or China is trying to hack into my email account or worse, knowing the president thinks it’s OK?

Trump can’t say, ‘No, I would not accept information or research from a foreign government on any of my political opponents. Not this time; I’ve learned my lesson and I’m calling the FBI. Now.”

He can’t say it because if he did, then that would cast a long shadow over his 2016 campaign, essentially delegitimatizing it.

Not a hint, not a whiff of warning from Trump to foreign governments over election meddling. No deterrent. No signal of strength. This is reckless beyond belief.

But I do have to give the political right some credit on this issue.

“He opened himself wide to attacks,” said “Fox & Friends” co-host Brian Kilmeade, adding that Trump knows if a foreign government like Russia or China handed over such information, they would expect something in return.

“The president should say, ‘Keep it,’ because I don’t want to owe China or Russia something in return,” said Kilmeade.

What if the election had turned out differently, and President Hillary Clinton had made the same statement about foreign meddling in U.S. elections?

On accepting dirt from a foreign government on a political opponent, Clinton says, “I’d take it. You don’t call the FBI. The FBI director is wrong.”

Are you telling me there would not be outrage?

Jay Mcfarland hosts the JayMac News Show, weekdays from 12:30 to 3 p.m. on KSL Newsradio, as well as the fictional podcast, Hosts of Eden. KSL Newsradio is part of Bonneville Media and based in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Today’s Top Stories

Jay Mcfarland

Jay Mcfarland

JayMac: The time for talk is over

JayMac: My favorite thing to hear from listeners is "You know, Jay Mac, I don't agree with everything you have to say, but I understand how you got there."
3 years ago
trump parade tanks...
KSL News Staff

JayMac: Will July 4th military parade salute America or Trump?

Will president's July Fourth military parade in D.C. be a salute to America or to Trump?
3 years ago
Nike is canceling a sneaker that featured a version of the American flag from the late 18th century...
KSL News Staff

Should Nike recall its Betsy Ross flag sneaker?

The Nike Air Max 1 USA has a retail value of $120 but is selling for more than $2,000 on resale site StockX after the shoes were pulled from retail shelves.
3 years ago
mackenzie lueck investigation...
Jay Mcfarland

JayMac: A cautionary tale from a young woman’s death

A young woman's death exposes dangers lurking online
3 years ago
mackenzie lueck missing...
Jay Mcfarland

JayMac: Don’t blame Mackenzie Lueck for her disappearance

JayMac: Resist the urge to blame the victim until all the facts are in. Mackenzie Lueck and all victims deserve better from us.
3 years ago
Jay Mcfarland

JayMac: Sick of babysitting parents, kindergarten teacher quits

A Virginia teacher says it's not her kindergarten students who are driving her away from the profession. It's the parents.
3 years ago

Sponsored Articles

Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
large group of friends tohether in a park having fun...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

What differentiates BYU’s MBA program from other MBA programs

Commitment to service is at the heart of BYU’s MBA program, which makes it stand out among other MBA programs across the country.
a worker with a drill in an orange helmet installs a door in the house...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

Home improvement tip: Increase the value of your home by weatherproofing doors

Make sure your home is comfortable before the winter! Seasonal maintenance keeps your home up to date. Read our tips on weatherproofing doors.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
A paper reading IRS, internal revenue service is pictured...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
JayMac: Trump OK with foreign meddling in U.S. elections — again