FEC chair responds to Trump saying he'd accept foreign intel on opponent: 'It is illegal'

Federal Election Commission (FEC) Chairwoman Ellen Weintraub said Thursday it is illegal to accept foreign assistance during elections after President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate gears up for battle over witnesses in impeachment trial Vulnerable Democrats tout legislative wins, not impeachment Trump appears to set personal record for tweets in a day MORE publicly suggested he would accept foreign intelligence on opponents. 

"I would not have thought that I needed to say this," Weintraub tweeted Thursday with her statement.

"Let me make something 100 percent 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," Weintraub said.

ADVERTISEMENT
 

In an interview with ABC News Wednesday, Trump suggested he would accept dirt on an opponent offered by a foreign country. 

Doubling down on why that's unconstitutional, Weintraub said "this is not a novel concept," adding that "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," she said. 

Any political campaign that does receive such an offer should report it to the FBI, she added.

Trump said in the ABC interview he would "maybe go to the FBI" if he received information about an opponent from a foreign government. 

Trump’s comments faced strong pushback from Democrats and some Republicans.

The FEC is an independent regulatory agency whose purpose is to enforce campaign finance law. Weintraub was appointed by former President George W. Bush and has served as commissioner since 2002.