Election Security

FEC Chair responds after Trump says he'd accept foreign intel

President Donald Trump
Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The chair of the Federal Elections Commission released a statement on Thursday condemning any public official who accepts foreign intelligence on their opponents — just 1 day after President Trump said he'd be open to such an information exchange.

What they're saying: FEC Chair Ellen Weintraub wanted to make it "100% clear" that it is illegal for anybody to accept anything from a foreign national relating to a public U.S. election. During an exclusive ABC interview clip, Trump claimed accepting "dirt" on political opponents is commonplace.

Trump says he’d accept foreign intel on political opponents

ABC's George Stephanopoulos first interviewing President Donald Trump in 2015
Photo: Lou Rocco/Walt Disney Television

President Trump said "there isn't anything wrong with listening" to intelligence on political opponents gathered by foreign nations revealed Wednesday during an exclusive interview with ABC News's George Stephanopoulos.

"It's not an interference, they have information -- I think I'd take it," Trump said. "If I thought there was something wrong, I'd go maybe to the FBI -- if I thought there was something wrong. But when somebody comes up with oppo research, right, they come up with oppo research, 'oh let's call the FBI.' The FBI doesn't have enough agents to take care of it. When you go and talk, honestly, to congressman, they all do it, they always have, and that's the way it is. It's called oppo research."
— President Trump to ABC's George Stephanopoulos