President Donald Trump tried to defend his comments about accepting information about his election rivals from foreign governments in a series of tweets on Thursday.
Trump cited his recent state visit to the United Kingdom and meetings with the royal family as an example of how he talks with foreign governments “every day,” saying he met with “the Prince of Whales” ― referring to Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales ― and others. (He deleted the tweet and fixed the spelling about 30 minutes later.)
“Should I immediately call the FBI about these calls and meetings? How ridiculous!” Trump tweeted.
He went on to call out Democrats, again accusing them of spying on his 2016 campaign.
Trump’s tweets followed backlash over his comments to ABC’s George Stephanopoulos a day earlier about potentially accepting information from a foreign entity like China or Russia on a 2020 rival. Trump said he would take foreign information on an opponent and, if “there was something wrong,” report it, instead of just alerting the FBI.
“It’s not an interference,” the president said. “They have the information! I think I’d take it.”
“If I thought there was something wrong, I’d go maybe to the FBI, if I thought there was something wrong,” he continued. “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.”
Mueller’s investigation did not charge members of the Trump campaign with conspiring with Russian operatives to sway the election in Trump’s favor. The investigation did lead to indictments for dozens of people, including some senior members of the Trump campaign.