GOP pollster says party needs to talk about foreign election interference

GOP pollster B.J. Martino is encouraging Republicans to talk more about the threat of foreign powers interfering in the U.S. election process. 

"I think the better answer for Republicans is to focus on the exterior threat to this country from foreign governments who want to influence our election," Martino, a partner at the Tarrance Group, told Hill.TV's Jamal Simmons on "What America's Thinking." 

"Talking about protecting our country, and the integrity of our elections going forward is something that we need to talk about," he continued. "That's really where the Republican focus needs to be on all of this coming out of this report."

Martino's comments come after The New York Times reported on Wednesday that former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenTrump casts uncertainty over top intelligence role Juan Williams: Trump, his allies and the betrayal of America Trump taps Texas Rep. Ratcliffe to replace Dan Coats as top intelligence official MORE was warned by chief of staff Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyDick Cheney to attend fundraiser supporting Trump reelection: report Chris Wallace becomes Trump era's 'equal opportunity inquisitor' Appropriators warn White House against clawing back foreign aid MORE not to brief Trump on potential Russian election interference in the 2020 presidential campaign. 

Mulvaney reportedly said it “wasn’t a great subject and should be kept below [the president's] level."

Trump has repeatedly torn into special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerTrump calls for probe of Obama book deal Democrats express private disappointment with Mueller testimony Kellyanne Conway: 'I'd like to know' if Mueller read his own report MORE's probe in Russian election meddling in 2016, frequently calling it a "witch hunt" and "presidential harassment."

The investigation wrapped up last month, finding no criminal conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia.

— Julia Manchester