Sanders says he would inform FBI about offers of foreign intel

Sanders says he would inform FBI about offers of foreign intel
© Greg Nash

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersPoll: Biden leads 2020 Democratic field by 15 points, followed by Sanders and Warren Warren introduces bill to cancel student loan debt for millions Democrats, advocacy groups urge Pompeo to abolish new 'unalienable rights' commission MORE (I-Vt.) said Thursday that he would call the FBI if he were offered foreign intelligence on his political opponents.

Pressed by MSNBC host Chris Hayes on whether he'd inform the FBI about such an offer, the 2020 Democratic presidential candidate responded, "It is illegal, so yes I would."

Sanders's comments came after President TrumpDonald John Trump5 things to know about Boris Johnson Conservatives erupt in outrage against budget deal Trump says Omar will help him win Minnesota MORE suggested Wednesday that he would accept damaging information on a political opponent from a foreign government.

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“I think you might want to listen. There’s nothing wrong with listening,” Trump told ABC News. “It’s not an interference. They have information. I think I’d take it. If I thought there was something wrong, I’d go maybe to the FBI.”

In the interview, ABC News host George Stephanopoulos pointed out that Trump's FBI director, Christopher Wray, has said campaigns should report such contact from foreign entities to the bureau.

"The FBI director is wrong," Trump responded. 

Trump’s comments drew widespread backlash from Democrats who decried Trump’s suggestion. Republican lawmakers, meanwhile raced to distance themselves from the president’s remarks.

The remarks also prompted Federal Election Commission Chairwoman Ellen Weintraub to issue a statement on Thursday making clear that 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.”