By this point, no one should be more alert to the danger of accepting campaign help from a foreign power than President Donald Trump. Special Counsel Robert Mueller looked hard at whether top Trump campaign officials, including the president’s eldest son, broke the law when they met with a Russian lawyer promising dirt on Hillary Clinton. Mueller ultimately decided he couldn’t prove a crime, but that ill-fated Trump Tower meeting reverberates to this day.

For any number of fathers, seeing their son in the crosshairs of the nation’s investigative machinery might be a powerful deterrent—a sign that it’s a good idea to avoid the sort of behavior that put the family at risk of prosecution in the first place. But Trump seems unfazed. In an interview with ABC News’s George Stephanopoulos that aired last night, he said that if a foreign country dangles incriminating information about an opponent in the 2020 race, he just might grab it. Asked if he would accept derogatory material about an opponent from China or Russia, or instead call the FBI, Trump said, “I think maybe you do both. I think you might want to listen, there isn’t anything wrong with listening.” He went on to say that if Norway, for example, were to call with such information, “Oh, I think I’d want to hear it.”

That answer suggests he hasn’t absorbed basic lessons from the 2016 race: foreign interference in U.S. elections is a grave and continuing threat that must be defeated, and embracing it can bring about a world of hurt. Rather than unequivocally reject any campaign help from a foreign power, Trump signaled it would be welcome so long as he’s the beneficiary. “It’s not an interference, they have information—I think I’d take it,” Trump said. His quest for an edge …read more

Source:: The Atlantic – Best of


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