With the Russia investigation around the corner, US President Donald Trump on Wednesday openly stated that he does not feel the need to summon the FBI if offered information about any election opponent from Russia or any other foreign Government.
Naming it " Opposition research", in an interview with the ABC news, the Republican President went on to say "It’s not interference, they have information, I think I’d take it." When asked about following the protocol he said he would call the FBI only “if I thought there was something wrong.”
Justifying his claim he continued saying in the interview aired by ABC News on Wednesday,
“I think you might want to listen. There’s nothing wrong with listening,” the President continues in the interview, an excerpt of which aired Wednesday evening. “If somebody called from a country, Norway, we have information on your opponent. Oh, I think I’d want to hear it.”
Trump added that he probably wouldn’t bother to tell the F.B.I. about it, either. “I’ve seen a lot of things over my life, I don’t think in my whole life I’ve ever called the F.B.I. You don’t call the FBI. You throw somebody out of your office, you do whatever you have to do.”
The 2016 election campaign of Donald Trump had led to the rise of a huge controversy whereby according to the special counsel Robert Mueller's report, Trump's party members in cognizance of Russia had made a concerted effort to help Trump get elected and that Trump’s campaign benefited from it.
Ironically, the President’s remarks also came on the same day that his son Donald Trump Jr. appeared on Capitol Hill to answer lawmakers’ questions. During the 2016 campaign, the younger Trump along with Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law, and Paul Manafort, then his campaign chairman met with a Kremlin-connected lawyer after being told she would have “dirt” on Hillary Clinton as part of Russia and its government’s support for Trump.
Though no case of an illegal conspiracy was established between the two nations, Trump's claim of accepting any form of foreign intel comes as a foil to what his appointed FBI director, Christopher Wray had to say regarding such a situation.
In testimony to Congress last month, Christopher Wray had said campaigns should report it if they hear from foreign governments. “I think my view is that if any public official or member of any campaign is contacted by any nation state or anybody acting on behalf of a nation state about influencing or interfering with our election, then that’s something that the FBI would want to know about,”
However with the FBI director contradicting Trump's statement has led to many speculations on social media, most of which point towards his possible resignation.