WASHINGTON – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi slammed President Donald Trump for saying in a recent interview that he would be receptive to candidate opposition research gathered by foreign actors.
“It’s a very sad thing that he does not know right from wrong,” Pelosi (D-Calif.) said at a news conference on Thursday. “It’s so against any sense of decency.”
Pelosi called Trump’s comments both “appalling” and “sad.”
She said Democrats are working on legislation that would require candidates to report foreign opposition research to the FBI.
Republicans also rebuked Trump for his remarks. Among them was Sen. Lindsey Graham, who is considered one of the president’s closest allies in Congress.
“I think it’s a mistake. I think it’s a mistake of law. I don’t want to send a signal to encourage this,” Graham (S.C.) told reporters at the U.S. Capitol on Thursday morning.
In a Wednesday Oval Office interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, Trump was asked whether his re-election campaign would make use of dirt on political opponents that derived from foreign actors or if the campaign would inform the FBI.
“I think maybe you do both. I think you might want to listen. There’s nothing wrong with listening,” he said.
The controversy comes just months after Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III completed his nearly two-year investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election.
During the campaign Donald Trump Jr., then-Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner met at Trump Tower with Natalia Veselnitskaya, a Kremlin-connected Russian attorney who allegedly offered to provide damaging information about then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Then men have dismissed the meeting and maintained that the Russian lawyer offered them no useful information.