Regional Democrats Critical of Trump Comments

Updated: June 14, 2019 08:46 PM

Democrats representing the Northland in Congress are critical of President Donald Trump's comments about accepting dirt on an opponent from a foreign power, but regional Republicans have not commented on the president's remarks.

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On Wednesday, Trump told ABC News that he would "want to hear" negative information about a political opponent from a foreign power and that he would have no obligation to call the FBI.  Then Friday, the president told Fox News that he might contact the FBI in such an instance, but he would "of course" look at the information.

All five Democrats in the U.S. Senate from Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan criticized Trump's remarks.

"President Trump encouraged and welcomed Russia's attacks on our democracy and interference in our 2016 election. Now he has told ABC News he is open to accepting foreign interference in our elections, which is illegal," Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin said in a statement to WDIO.

"The President is inviting hostile foreign governments to interfere in our elections and that should concern every American voter," Baldwin said.

Minnesota Sen. Tina Smith mocked the president's statements in a Twitter post, writing, "Accepting campaign 'dirt' on your opponent from a foreign government should be illegal. Oh wait. It already is."

Spokespersons for both Smith and Baldwin, as well as Rep. Pete Stauber (R-Minn.), told WDIO that they would inform the FBI if they had any contact from foreign powers offering opposition research.  A spokesperson for Stauber also said he would not seek opposition research from foreign powers, but did not comment on the president's remarks.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who is running for president, called the president's remarks "inexcusable" on her personal Twitter page.

"The President of the United States just effectively gave permission to foreign agents to interfere in our elections. We need my Secure Elections Act and Honest Ads Act passed immediately. The 2020 elections are not secure. Disgraceful," Klobuchar wrote.

The offices of Wisconsin Republican U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson and Republican U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy have not responded to WDIO's request for comment on the matter as of late Friday afternoon.  Neither has commented on the president's remarks on his social media pages or website.

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