Fox News legal analyst Andrew NapolitanoAndrew Peter NapolitanoFox’s Napolitano rips Democrats for having John Dean testify: ‘It’s indefensible’ Fox’s Napolitano rips Democrats for having John Dean testify: ‘It’s indefensible’ Fox News legal analyst says Mueller ‘dropped the ball’ by deciding not to indict Trump MORE warned Thursday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse panel OKs space military branch Harris calls Trump ‘a national security threat’ after he says he’d take information from foreign power Harris calls Trump ‘a national security threat’ after he says he’d take information from foreign power MORE would be committing a felony if he accepted damaging information from a foreign power for an election.
Napolitano weighed in a day after Trump refused to commit in an ABC News interview to calling the FBI if he received political dirt from a foreign government on a political opponent, remarks that sparked a political firestorm on Thursday.
Asked for his reaction to Trump’s comments, Napolitano said on Fox News’s “Shepard Smith Reporting” that Trump’s remarks showed the president is “prepared to commit a felony to get reelected.”
“That was my reaction and it was not a happy one,” Napolitano. “I was not happy to hear it. I thought he shot himself in the foot politically. I wish he hadn’t said it, but he did.”
Asked by Fox’s Shepard Smith if Trump had any “wiggle room” when it came to listening to a foreign entity offering information on a political opponent, Napolitano said no.
“There’s no wiggle room with respect to dirt, with respect to opposition research because the Federal Election Commission has already decided in other cases that that is a thing of value,” he said, adding that it “comes from a statute which prohibits receipt of money or a thing of value from a foreign national. Whether the person is working for a foreign government or not.”
“So what the president said he would do to [ABC News’s] George StephanopoulosGeorge Robert StephanopoulosHarris calls Trump ‘a national security threat’ after he says he’d take information from foreign power Harris calls Trump ‘a national security threat’ after he says he’d take information from foreign power Brennan slams Trump after ABC interview: Unfit to be president a ‘gross understatement’ MORE would be felonious,” Smith responded.
“Correct,” Napolitano replied. “He would be committing a felony and the person giving it to him, if that person was ever here and subject to our jurisdiction, would be committing a felony as well.”
Trump said in the ABC interview on Wednesday that he’d be open to listening to a foreign government that had damaging information on a political opponent. Asked whether he would call the FBI or listen if Russia, China or another foreign government reached out, Trump said he might do both.
“I think you might want to listen. There’s nothing wrong with listening,” he said. “It’s not an interference. They have information. I think I’d take it. If I thought there was something wrong, I’d go maybe to the FBI.”
Stephanopoulos pointed out that FBI Director Christopher Wray has said campaigns should reach out to the bureau if they are contacted by a foreign entity.
“The FBI director is wrong,” Trump responded.
Trump defended his remarks early Thursday morning, equating accepting information from a foreign government to his various diplomatic communications with foreign leaders as part of his role in the White House.
“I meet and talk to ‘foreign governments’ every day. I just met with the Queen of England (U.K.), the Prince of Whales, the P.M. of the United Kingdom, the P.M. of Ireland, the President of France and the President of Poland. We talked about ‘Everything!’ ” Trump tweeted.
“Should I immediately call the FBI about these calls and meetings? How ridiculous! I would never be trusted again.”
The remarks from Trump come after special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerKamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have ‘no choice’ but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Kamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have ‘no choice’ but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Dem committees win new powers to investigate Trump MORE‘s report catalogued several instances of Russia trying to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, including detailing numerous instances of Trump associates having contact with Russian figures.