Fox's Napolitano warns Trump: 'A felony' to accept foreign help for reelection

Fox News legal analyst Andrew NapolitanoAndrew Peter NapolitanoAfter Obama-era abuses, Republican hysteria over impeachment process is absurd Fox's Napolitano defends Schiff: He's 'following the rules of the House' Fox News analyst: Republicans are protesting their own impeachment inquiry rules MORE warned Thursday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpThis week: House kicks off public phase of impeachment inquiry Impeachment week: Trump probe hits crucial point Judd Gregg: The big, big and bigger problem MORE would be committing a felony if he accepted damaging information from a foreign power for an election.

Napolitano weighed in a day after Trump refused to commit in an ABC News interview to calling the FBI if he received political dirt from a foreign government on a political opponent, remarks that sparked a political firestorm on Thursday.

Asked for his reaction to Trump's comments, Napolitano said on Fox News's "Shepard Smith Reporting" that Trump's remarks showed the president is "prepared to commit a felony to get reelected."

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"That was my reaction and it was not a happy one,” Napolitano. "I was not happy to hear it. I thought he shot himself in the foot politically. I wish he hadn’t said it, but he did.”

Asked by Fox's Shepard Smith if Trump had any "wiggle room" when it came to listening to a foreign entity offering information on a political opponent, Napolitano said no.

“There’s no wiggle room with respect to dirt, with respect to opposition research because the Federal Election Commission has already decided in other cases that that is a thing of value," he said, adding that it "comes from a statute which prohibits receipt of money or a thing of value from a foreign national. Whether the person is working for a foreign government or not.”

“So what the president said he would do to [ABC News's] George StephanopoulosGeorge Robert StephanopoulosSenate Republicans can acquit Trump — but they cannot defend his conduct Scalise doesn't directly say whether it's OK for Trump to ask Ukraine to investigate political opponents White House officials work to tamp down controversies after a tumultuous week MORE would be felonious,” Smith responded.

“Correct,” Napolitano replied. “He would be committing a felony and the person giving it to him, if that person was ever here and subject to our jurisdiction, would be committing a felony as well."

Trump said in the ABC interview on Wednesday that he'd be open to listening to a foreign government that had damaging information on a political opponent. Asked whether he would call the FBI or listen if Russia, China or another foreign government reached out, Trump said he might do both.

"I think you might want to listen. There’s nothing wrong with listening," he said. "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."

Stephanopoulos pointed out that FBI Director Christopher Wray has said campaigns should reach out to the bureau if they are contacted by a foreign entity. 

"The FBI director is wrong," Trump responded. 

Trump defended his remarks early Thursday morning, equating accepting information from a foreign government to his various diplomatic communications with foreign leaders as part of his role in the White House. 

"I meet and talk to 'foreign governments' every day. I just met with the Queen of England (U.K.), the Prince of Whales, the P.M. of the United Kingdom, the P.M. of Ireland, the President of France and the President of Poland. We talked about 'Everything!' " Trump tweeted.

"Should I immediately call the FBI about these calls and meetings? How ridiculous! I would never be trusted again."

The remarks from Trump come after special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerSpeier says impeachment inquiry shows 'very strong case of bribery' by Trump Gowdy: I '100 percent' still believe public congressional hearings are 'a circus' Comey: Mueller 'didn't succeed in his mission because there was inadequate transparency' MORE's report catalogued several instances of Russia trying to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, including detailing numerous instances of Trump associates having contact with Russian figures.