OPINION

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.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

Opinion

A group of high school students stand on a basketball court during a free throw. (Amanda Dickson/KS...
Amanda Dickson

Opinion: Is sportsmanship dead in high school basketball?

After a weekend basketball game, it's clear some of our students have a lot of learn when it comes to civility and sportsmanship.
3 days ago
Utah's Morning News anchor Tim Hughes relays the experience he had with his wife Becki, when, after...
Tim Hughes

Opinion: A relaxing vacation featuring baby turtles on the front lines of nature!

While vacationing recently, Utah's Morning News host Tim Hughes and his family had the chance to help baby turtles begin their long journey.
18 days ago
One of the hosts of Utah's Morning News, Amanda Dickson, describes the first hours of her early shi...
Amanda Dickson

Opinion: Takeaways from the early hours in the Utah people’s house

The Utah Capitol, sometimes called the people's house, was quiet in the first hours of the first day of the 2023 legislative session.
18 days ago
BURBANK, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 06: A cold and flu medicine shelf is empty in a CVS pharmacy on Dece...
Amanda Dickson

Opinion: Is everyone you know sick in Utah?

Does it seem like people are more people are sick in Utah? The numbers are there to back up that viruses — yes multiple — are working their way around.
25 days ago
Republican Party failed to vote on a new House Speaker on Tuesday. An expert joins KSL NewsRadio to...
Mark Jones

Republican Party can’t decide on House Speaker. What does this mean?

Republican Party failed to vote on a new House Speaker on Tuesday. An expert joins KSL NewsRadio to discuss what this means.
1 month ago
The Utes lose at the 109th Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif....
Amanda Dickson

Opinion: We love our Utes, lose or win at the Rose Bowl

We watched the Utes lose the final Rose Bowl game as we know it. But love them anyway — it's how you know you're a real fan.
1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...
Macey's

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
JayMac: Trump OK with foreign meddling in U.S. elections — again