Secretary of State Mike Pompeo defended recent comments President Donald Trump made suggesting his campaign would listen to opposition research from foreign sources.
“I’ve nothing further to add. I came on to talk about foreign policy. I think is the third time you asked me about a Washington piece of silliness and chase down a story that is inconsistent of what I’ve seen the president do every single day,” Pompeo said Sunday morning during an interview with “Fox New Sunday” host Chris Wallace.
Trump said he would consider accepting opposition research on his political opponents from foreign entities in a June 12 interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos. His comments come months after the conclusion of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
“Somebody comes up and says, ‘Hey, I have information on your opponent.’ Do you call the FBI?” Trump said during the interview. “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 also asked if a member of Trump’s reelection campaign should go to the FBI if a foreign entity provides officials information. (RELATED: Trump: ‘I Think I’d Take’ Oppo Dirt From Foreign Entities On Opponents)
“I think maybe you do both. I think you might want to listen. There isn’t anything wrong with listening,” Trump said. “If somebody called from a country —Norway — [and said,] ‘We have information on your opponent’ — oh, I think I’d want to hear it.”
Several presidential candidates have promised not to use information obtained through foreign entities. Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Kamala Harris of California and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota are among a handful of Democratic candidates who have made such a promise.
Conservatives have meanwhile pushed back on the media’s framing of Trump’s comments. Some sought to remind people that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was involved in funding opposition research conducted by a foreign national that relied on foreign sources.
The Clinton campaign, along with the Democratic National Committee (DNC), paid Fusion GPS during the 2016 election to compile opposition research on then-candidate Trump. Fusion GPS contracted with former British spy Christopher Steele to create a dossier, who admitted many of his sources were Russian nationals.
Stephanopoulos did not mention the Clinton campaign’s role in obtaining such information during the course of his interview with Trump.
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