Nancy Pelosi came out and trashed President Donald Trump today for some off-hand comments he made regarding foreign influence in our elections.
Sen. Lindsey Graham didn’t wait long to respond. “First, I believe that it should be practice for all public officials who are contacted by a foreign government with an offer of assistance to their campaign – either directly or indirectly – to inform the FBI and reject the offer.” He said.
“I made this point to FBI Director Wray during his confirmation hearings. But this has not been recent practice and we saw that come to a head during the 2016 presidential campaign. During that race, we had a major American political party hire a foreign national, Christopher Steele, to dig up dirt on an American presidential candidate.” He continued.
“As if that was not bad enough, the foreign national compiled an unverified dossier that was then used by the FBI to obtain a warrant against an American citizen and surveil an American presidential campaign.”
“It has also come to light that the foreign national had a well-known political bias, was doing everything in his power to harm an American candidate’s electoral chances, and sought to directly influence who the American people elected as their next president.” He added.
“American electoral campaigns should be run by, for, and decided by the American people. Foreign influence in our electoral process is and has been a problem.”
“Finally, the outrage some of my Democratic colleagues are raising about President Trump’s comments will hopefully be met with equal outrage that their own party hired a foreign national to do opposition research on President Trump’s campaign…”
“…and that information, unverified, was apparently used by the FBI to obtain a warrant against an American citizen,” he concluded.
This Thursday, The Hill reported that Sen. Lindsey Graham said that President Donald Trump was “wrong” to suggest he is open to looking at dirt on a political opponent offered by a foreign government.
“I think that’s wrong. That’s a mistake,” Graham, a frequent defender of the president, said. “I’ve been consistent on this. If a public official is approached by a foreign government offering anything of value … the right answer is ‘no.’”
Sen. Graham also added that he is willing to look at legislation to more clearly define what is illegal, and that “you accept assistance from a foreign government at your own peril.”
“The answer is ‘no.’ It’s got to be ‘no,’” Sen. Graham told reporters during a separate interview.
Graham on Thursday also used questions about President Trump’s comments to raise concerns about Christopher Steele, who put together a controversial opposition research dossier against Trump during the 2016 campaign.
“I’m hoping some of my Democratic colleagues will take more seriously the fact that Christopher Steele was a foreign agent paid for by the Democratic Party,” Sen. Graham added. “Looking at the [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] FISA process regarding the Steele dossier is important.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham is one of several Republican senators who want to investigate the origins of the FBI’s probe into the Trump campaign.