Foreign politicians getting fundraising emails from Trump

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Politicians from foreign countries are receiving fundraising emails from Donald Trump’s campaign even though such contributions would be a violation of federal law. 

{mosads}Members of parliament in Australia, Iceland, Denmark and Finland have all received the emails, according to Talking Points Memo.

Tim Watts, an Australian member of Parliament, said he has received several emails from the presumptive GOP presidential nominee’s campaign and thinks his colleagues have as well. 

“Even the left wing ones #ImWithHer,” Watts tweeted, indicating support Trump’s Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton. 

He then posted a screenshot of an email he received from the Trump campaign titled “They took their country back,” referring to Britain’s vote to leave the European Union last week. 

“Four since Friday, but I’m sure there have been more that my office has just deleted as spam,” Watts said in a tweet to a Talking Points Memo reporter. 

Joanne Ryan, another Australian member of Parliament, said she has also received the emails. 

“Just what I need popping up in the inbox. #swipelefttodelete,” Ryan tweeted. 

The Iceland Monitor also reports members of Parliament in Iceland have received emails asking for donations. 

“This whole matter is very perplexing. The letter left me speechless,” said Katrín Jakobsdóttir, the head of Iceland’s Left Green Party, according to The Iceland Monitor. 

Other members of parliament from Denmark, Finland and the United Kingdom also reported receiving the requests for donations. 

Natalie McGarry, a Scottish member of the U.K. Parliament, posted on Twitter that she received a fundraising email from Trump’s oldest son, Donald Trump Jr. 

“Quite why you think it appropriate to write emails to UK parliamentarians with a begging bowl for your father’s repugnant campaign is completely beyond me,” McGarry said in an email to the campaign, which she posted on Twitter. 

“Given his rhetoric on migrants, refugees and immigration, it seems extraordinary that he would be asking for money; especially people who view his dangerous divisiveness with horror.” 

Under federal election law, foreign nationals are prohibited from making any contributions in connection with any election in the U.S. 

Two nonprofit advocacy groups announced Wednesday they would file a complaint with the Federal Election Commission over the fundraising requests. 

“Donald Trump should have known better,” said Paul S. Ryan, deputy executive director of The Campaign Legal Center, a nonpartisan group that pushes for enforcement of campaign finance laws.

“It is a no-brainer that it violates the law to send fundraising emails to members of a foreign government on their official foreign government email accounts, and yet, that’s exactly what Trump has done repeatedly,” he added. “The FEC’s forum last week highlighted how foreign corporate money could infiltrate U.S. elections, but Trump’s fundraising antics show that the FEC must also monitor candidates directly soliciting foreign money.”

Fred Wertheimer, president of Democracy 21, a nonprofit that seeks to combat the influence of private money in politics, called the requests a “strange and unique development” that he hasn’t seen before in campaign fundraising. 

—This story was updated at 1:21 p.m.

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