Murkowski differs with Trump on campaign help from foreign powers

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski was not happy to hear President Donald Trump say he would accept foreign intelligence on a political opponent.

“It’s not anything I would have said. So no, I didn’t like it,” the Alaska Republican said.

In an ABC News interview that aired Wednesday night, Trump said it’s unrealistic to expect a campaign to call the FBI if Russian or other foreign powers offer information on a rival candidate, like the offer made to his son in 2016.

President Donald Trump speaks to service members at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, Feb. 28, 2019. The President was at the base to meet with service members after returning from a summit in Hanoi, Vietnam.
President Donald Trump speaks to service members at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, Feb. 28, 2019. (Public domain photo by Staff Sgt. Westin Warburton/U.S. Air Force)

“This is somebody that said, ‘We have information on your opponent.’ ‘Oh, let me call the FBI,’” Trump said, hitting a sarcastic note for the last sentence. “Gimme a break. Life doesn’t work that way.”

“The FBI director says that’s what should happen,” responded ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos.

“The FBI director is wrong,” Trump said, though he later said he would “maybe” call the FBI.

If another country offered him incriminating information on an opponent, Trump said he’d likely take it.

“You go and talk honestly to congressmen, they all do it,” Trump said. “They always have.”

Murkowski said that’s not true.

“Well, when he says that ‘all politicians do it,’ this politician doesn’t,” she said.

Outside the Senate chamber Thursday afternoon, Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, wasn’t ready to talk about the president’s remarks.

“I honestly have not seen one thing the president has said,” Sullivan said, after a floor speech and on his way to meet some constituents. “I mean, I have been very busy. But when I read it and see it, I’ll take a look at it.”

His spokesperson Mike Anderson later offered a statement: “Sen. Sullivan believes that this type of information from a foreign entity should be immediately reported and turned over to the appropriate authorities.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats say the president’s comments amount to an invitation for foreign meddling in the 2020 presidential election.

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