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 SandersWomen's March endorses Nina Turner in first-ever electoral endorsement GOP sees debt ceiling as its leverage against Biden Democrats brace for slog on Biden's spending plan 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 TrumpRealClearPolitics reporter says Freedom Caucus shows how much GOP changed under Trump Jake Ellzey defeats Trump-backed candidate in Texas House runoff DOJ declines to back Mo Brooks's defense against Swalwell's Capitol riot lawsuit MORE suggested Wednesday that he would accept damaging information on a political opponent from a foreign government.

ADVERTISEMENT

“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.”