Republican Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn blocked a unanimous consent vote Thursday that would require campaigns to notify the FBI if they get contacted by a foreign entity.
Blackburn blocked the bill, which was introduced by Democratic Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, saying that it was “overbroad” and applied to individual campaign workers on “so many different levels,” CNN’s Manu Raju reported.
On the floor moments ago, Blackburn said that the Warner legislation’s reporting requirements are “overbroad.” She says that it would apply to campaign workers on “so many different levels” — from vendors to door knockers to phone bankers.
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) June 13, 2019
Her vote comes one day after President Donald Trump said he wouldn’t necessarily go to the FBI in the event his campaign was contacted by foreign groups during an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos.
Sen. Warner tries to unanimously pass bill requiring candidates to report attempts at foreign elections interference
Sen. Blackburn objects
— Burgess Everett (@burgessev) June 13, 2019
“Somebody comes up and says, ‘Hey, I have information on your opponent.’ Do you call the FBI?” Trump stated. “I don’t think in my whole life I’ve ever called the FBI. In my whole life. You don’t call the FBI. You throw somebody out of your office. You do whatever you do.”
Stephanopoulos then asked the president if a member of Trump’s reelection campaign should go to the FBI if they are contacted by a foreign government with dirt on an opponent. (RELATED: Daily Caller Editors Live Chat: Media Goes Ballistic Over Trump’s Foreign Oppo Comment)
“I think maybe you do both. I think you might want to listen. There isn’t anything wrong with listening,” the president responded. “If somebody called from a country —Norway — [and said,] ‘We have information on your opponent’ — oh, I think I’d want to hear it.”
Trump justified his statement by suggesting everyone does it. Many on the right pointed out that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was involved in funding opposition research conducted by British spy Christopher Steele that relied on foreign sources.
Eight presidential candidates have already come out and pledged that they would report any attempt from foreign entities to contact them with opposition research to the FBI, according to Politico.