Can Democrats do some research

Election campaign: Trump would accept harmful information from abroad about opponents

Washington. In the election campaign, US President Donald Trump would certainly accept information from foreign bodies that would harm his opponent. "I think I would accept that," said Trump in response to a question in an interview with the US television broadcaster ABC. "This is not meddling."

It's just about information. When asked whether his campaign team should accept such advice - from Russia or China, for example - or rather call in the FBI, Trump said: "I think maybe you should do both." But he emphasized: "I think you should listen to it. There is nothing wrong with listening to it."

No interference

It is not an interference in US politics: "This is not interference, you have information," said Trump. "I think I would take it." Trump said this was simply research on the political opponent - and such research is quite common, including among members of Congress. "They all do it," he claimed.

If he assumed that something was wrong, he would “maybe” call in the FBI. At the same time, the US President emphasized: "In my entire life I have never called the FBI." The FBI doesn't have enough people to take care of things like that.

In response to the interviewer's objection that, in the opinion of the FBI management, it was in no way permissible to accept compromising information from foreign authorities about political competitors, Trump replied: "The FBI boss is wrong."

The interview was recorded in the Oval Office. The passage on this subject takes less than two minutes, but it is definitely politically explosive.

Election campaign starts soon

Trump's remarks come just days before he plans to launch his campaign for the next 2020 presidential election. They come just a few weeks after Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigations were concluded. And anyway, it is quite remarkable that the President of the United States speaks in a conversational tone that he would use dirty information from abroad for his re-election campaign if necessary in order to gain an advantage over a political rival.

For about two years, special investigator Mueller had been investigating the question of whether Trump's campaign team made secret agreements with representatives of Russia and whether Trump later, when he was already president, obstructed the judicial investigation. The background to the investigation was alleged interference by Moscow in the US presidential election campaign in 2016.

Evidence of Russia's efforts to influence

Mueller had stated that he and his team had shown clear efforts by Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election. Russia is said to have interfered in the election campaign with hacker attacks in order to help Trump and to damage his then Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton. The Russian government has consistently rejected such allegations.

Mueller's final report states that there were numerous contacts between Trump's camp and representatives of Russia. However, there is no evidence of a crime. In addition, Mueller's team listed various attempts by Trump to influence the investigations. Mueller left it open whether Trump was guilty of obstruction of justice. However, he also expressly did not absolve the president of this accusation, but rather placed everything else in the hands of the US Congress.

Numerous investigations against Trump

There, even after Mueller's work has been completed, the Democrats are continuing numerous investigations against Trump and his environment. Trump complains bitterly about it almost every day and calls for an end to the "witch hunt". With his new remarks, however, he only provides the Democrats with new arguments in the debate.

The chairman of the judiciary committee in the US House of Representatives, Jerry Nadler, called Trump's statements shocking. Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren, who wants to compete in the presidential race against Trump, wrote on Twitter: "A foreign government attacked our 2016 election in support of Trump, Trump welcomed it and Trump obstructed the investigation." Now the president is saying openly that he would do this again. "It is time to remove Donald Trump from office," she said. Other high-ranking Democrats were also outraged.

The question of a possible impeachment trial against Trump is highly controversial among the Democrats. Many fear that this could help the president mobilize his supporters in the 2020 election campaign. Given the majority of Trump's Republicans in the Senate, a so-called impeachment would have little chance of success anyway. (apa, dpa, afp)