Oct 10, 2019

McMaster: It's "absolutely" inappropriate for Trump to solicit foreign interference

Former White House national security adviser H.R. McMaster said at a Foundation for Defense of Democracies event on Thursday that it's "absolutely not" appropriate for the president to solicit foreign election interference, but that it's up to Congress to decide whether he did so with Ukraine.

REPORTER: "Is it appropriate for the president of the United States to solicit foreign interference in our political process?"
MCMASTER: "Of course no. No, it's absolutely not. And of course, what has to happen here is seeing our democracy play out, our separation of powers play out. And for the American people, through their representatives in Congress, to make a judgment of whether that happened."

Why it matters: Trump is facing an impeachment inquiry over allegations that he pressured the Ukrainian government to investigate Joe Biden. McMaster, a 3-star general who served as the 2nd of Trump's 4 national security advisers, was widely considered one of the more responsible high-ranking officials to serve in the president's inner circle — part of a loose alliance in the early days of the Trump presidency that saw it as their duty to protect the nation from disaster.

Go deeper: Trump's trifecta of calling on foreign powers to interfere in elections

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McMaster wasn't aware of White House's foreign call "lockdowns"

H.R. McMaster. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Three former administration officials tell Axios that former national security adviser H.R. McMaster did not authorize and was not aware of the "locking down" of transcripts of conversations between President Trump and foreign leaders that were politically damaging but didn't pose national security risks.

Why it matters: Congressional investigators want to learn how, when and at whose direction transcripts were moved out of the typical computer system and into a classified system meant for highly sensitive security matters.

Go deeperArrowOct 13, 2019

Security agencies warn Russia, China, Iran aim to interfere in 2020 election

Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

The heads of government agencies including the FBI, Department of Justice and National Security Agency warned in a joint security statement Tuesday that foreign actors would seek to interfere in the 2020 election.

Russia, China, Iran, and other foreign malicious actors all will seek to interfere in the voting process or influence voter perceptions."
Go deeperArrowNov 6, 2019

Cruz: "Of course" it's inappropriate for Trump to ask China to investigate Bidens

Asked whether it's appropriate for President Trump to suggest China investigate the Biden family, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) told CBS' Margaret Brennan: "Of course not. Elections in the U.S. should be decided by Americans, and it's not the business of foreign countries, any foreign countries, to be interfering in our elections."

Go deeperArrowOct 13, 2019