I Did the Right Thing. The President Agrees (UPDATED)
While the take (below) on Trump’s views on candidates for public office receiving dirt from foreign governments was (sadly) satire, there is nothing satirical about what the head of the Federal Election Commission (FEC) felt was necessary to remind all Americans of – especially Trump.
FEC Chairwoman Ellen Weintraub yesterday released a statement making perfectly clear what Trump apparently does not understand or does not want to know.
“Let me make something 100% clear to the American public and anyone running for public office: It is illegal for any person to solicit, accept, or receive anything of value from a foreign national in connection with a U.S. election,” she wrote.
Weintraub added, “This is not a novel concept,” and continued:
Electoral intervention from foreign governments has been considered unacceptable since the beginnings of our nation. Our Founding Fathers sounded the alarm about ‘foreign Interference, Intrigue, and Influence.’ They knew that when foreign governments seek to influence American politics, it is always to advance their own interests, not America’s. Anyone who solicits or accepts foreign assistance risks being on the wrong end of a federal investigation. Any political campaign that receives an offer of a prohibited donation from a foreign source should report that offer to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Weintraub also tweeted: “I would not have thought that I needed to say this.”
Neither did most Americans, Madam Chairman.
It has now been more than 30 years, so the details are sketchy.
But I do remember, while working for a major defense aerospace company, returning from an overseas trip and calling the FBI.
The reason: At the conference I was attending, I was approached by a gentleman from what was then the “Soviet Bloc” who seemed to be very interested in my employment and past military background. Our conversation was very much “social” and no information was exchanged that could be called “sensitive” or “compromising.”
Nevertheless, upon my return I called the local FBI office and provided a statement.
It was the right thing to do and now the President of the United States has confirmed it.
In an interview with ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos in the Oval Office on Wednesday, Trump categorically confirmed that I did the right thing.
While in my situation no material information was exchanged, no dirt on anyone was solicited or received, no political campaign was involved, the president forcefully, eloquently and categorically stated that doing so would be illegal, unethical, wrong – definitely not the right thing to do.
That he himself would never accept such information from foreigners, especially from China or Russia.
That he would immediately alert the FBI.
That if a foreign government provided dirt on a political opponent, it would definitely be considered interference in our sacred election process.
That he was one hundred percent sure that no congressman would ever accept such information.
That his FBI director, Christopher Wray, was absolutely correct when he testified last month that “the FBI would want to know about” any foreign election meddling.
I have always wondered whether I did the right thing bothering the FBI with what now seems to have been an inconsequential, innocuous meeting with a foreign person.
I am glad the president confirmed that I indeed did the right thing.
Now, for a more accurate version of the interview, please click here.
Lead image, credit donkeyhotey.com