“Fox & Friends” co-host Brian Kilmeade called on President Donald Trump to clarify his Wednesday remarks where he said that he would accept information from a foreign government on his opponents in the 2020 presidential election and that he also wouldn’t need to alert the FBI.
“Nothing’s free in the world. You don’t want a foreign government or foreign entity giving you information because they will want something back. If anybody knows that, it’s the president. Because there is no free lunch,” Kilmeade said.
“If someone gives information, then they want influence. I think the president’s got to clarify that. I’m glad he is coming on tomorrow. He opened himself wide up to attacks,” he said.
Kilmeade went on to say that if China called the president to offer up information on presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg, for example, “the president should just say, ‘Keep it, I got this.’”
“Because I don’t want to owe China, or Russia, something in return,” he said, before co-hosts Steve Doocy and Ainsley Earhardt offered a defense of Trump’s comments. Kilmeade then pushed back and insisted, “If someone wants information, they want influence.”
Trump made his comments about foreign intelligence and the FBI in an interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos, arguing that he thinks “there’s nothing wrong with listening.”
“If somebody called from a country, Norway, [and said], ‘We have information on your opponent.’ Oh, I think I’d want to hear it,” said the president before pushing back on the suggestion from FBI Director Christopher Wray to call the FBI if a foreign actor contacted him.
“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 ... ‘Oh, let’s call the FBI.’ The FBI doesn’t have enough agents to take care of it,” said Trump.
To Kilmeade’s point, Trump attempted to clarify his comments on Thursday morning ― not long after “Fox & Friends” aired.
The president said that his recent state visit to the United Kingdom and meetings with the royal family were an example of how he talks with foreign governments “every day” and claimed that he met with “the Prince of Whales” ― a reference to Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales ― and others. The tweet with the typo was later deleted and tweeted out again with the proper spelling.