Former CIA Director John Brennan said Donald Trump “is unfit to be president” after he refused to commit to calling the FBI if a foreign power approached him offering damaging dirt on a 2020 opponent.
Trump made the startling remarks during an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos and came just months after former Special Counsel Robert Mueller detailed numerous efforts by Russia to interfere in the 2016 election.
“I think maybe you do both,” Trump said when asked whether he would call the FBI or listen if Russia, China or another adversary reached out to help him get reelected.
“I think you might want to listen. There’s nothing wrong with listening,” he continued. “It’s not an interference, they have information. I think I’d take it. If I thought there was something wrong I’d go maybe to the FBI. If I thought there was something wrong.”
Stephanopoulos noted that FBI Director Christopher Wray has said campaigns should reach out to the bureau if they are contacted by a foreign entity.
“The FBI director is wrong,” Trump said.
EXCLUSIVE: Pres. Trump tells @GStephanopoulos he wouldn't necessarily alert the FBI if approached by foreign figures with information on his 2020 opponent: "It’s not an interference. They have information. I think I’d take it." https://t.co/yWRxMOaFqW pic.twitter.com/qwLw53s5yc
— ABC News (@ABC) June 12, 2019
In response to Trump’s interview, Brennan tweeted: “This is just the latest example of what Vice President Biden meant when he said that Mr. Trump is an existential threat to our country. ‘Unfit to be President’ is a gross understatement. @realDonaldTrump is undeserving of any public office, and all Americans should be outraged.”
This is just the latest example of what Vice President Biden meant when he said that Mr. Trump is an existential threat to our country. “Unfit to be President” is a gross understatement. @realDonaldTrump is undeserving of any public office, and all Americans should be outraged. https://t.co/vi0gYUxi67
— John O. Brennan (@JohnBrennan) June 12, 2019
“That has been his attitude ever since he was on the campaign trail, number one,” Brennan told MSNBC host Chris Matthews on Wednesday. “Number two: this just is the definition of an unethical politician who is willing to stoop to anything to win an election and Mr. Trump does not have a problem with a foreign government shaping the outcome of a U.S. election.”
He went on to say that it’s clear there is a president in the Oval Office “who is not opposed to having the influence and the candidacies of the individual who aspire to gain our foreign trust. It is deeply, deeply angered that that’s what Mr. Trump’s attitude is.”
"I think this is the definition of a craven and unethical politician who's willing to stoop to anything to win an election." @JohnBrennan on Trump saying he has no problem accepting dirt on a political opponent from a foreign power. #Hardball pic.twitter.com/A0X9mhnztQ
— Hardball (@hardball) June 12, 2019