In an interview broadcast on Saturday, Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg discussed President Donald Trump's apparent willingness to accept intelligence about a political opponent, even if it comes from a hostile government, The Hill reports.
"Just call the FBI. It's not hard. It's not complicated," Buttigieg said when asked about what a politician should do when offered dirt about a political opponent. "If you think there's a foreign effort to tamper with an American election and you're an American who cares about America, you call the FBI."
Buttigieg added that the scenario "isn't hypothetical," given that Russia had meddled in the 2016 presidential election. The South Bend mayor described Russia as a "hostile foreign power," suggesting that the country's government had successfully "destabilized" the United States by helping Donald Trump get elected.
"We were attacked by a hostile foreign power that decided that they could damage America, destabilize America, by intervening in the election to help him win," the Democrat said.
"This is something that has happened and will probably happen again," he warned.
Buttigieg then went back to discussing Trump's comments about accepting foreign dirt, taking aim at the president, and suggesting that those who "care about this country" would never float allowing a foreign government to meddle in elections.
The Democrat's remarks came in response to comments made earlier this week by President Trump, who, in an interview with ABC News's George Stephanopoulos, suggested that he would accept damaging information about a political opponent, even if it came from a hostile foreign power. Trump also indicated that he would not alert the authorities about the interaction, comparing it to regular diplomacy.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, Stephanopoulos' interview with Trump has not even aired yet -- excerpts of it have been published, however -- but some of the president's remarks are causing widespread controversy. Apart from discussing a hypothetical scenario of a foreign government offering damaging information about another politician, the president and the host touched on a number of issues, from UFOs to Robert Mueller's Russia probe.Although many of his comments are causing outrage, Trump "enjoyed" the interview, he claims.
"So funny to watch the Fake News Media try to dissect & distort every word in as negative a way as possible," the president tweeted, before announcing that he will do more similar interviews soon to "get the word out."
Although Trump claims to have enjoyed the interview, one of the excerpts released so far shows the president insulting and belittling Stephanopoulos, calling the reporter a "little wise guy."
Trump erupted at the host for pressing him to answer a question related to Robert Mueller's Russia probe, and potential obstruction of justice.