The lawmaker pointed out that the issue of listening to foreign intelligence was a hypothetical question that the president was asked during a Wednesday interview.
“It was a hypothetical, first of all. Would he do it in reality? I’ve been in many situations with him where how he responded to a hypothetical question was treated very differently when he actually had to deal with a specific problem,” Scalise told reporters. “When the problem is on your desk, how you decide and deal with it then is how you’re judged.”
Scalise also reminded reporters that Trump used an example of an ally, not a country that may hope to interfere in the election.
“He used the example of Norway,” Scalise said. “Norway is an ally.”
During a Wednesday interview with ABC News, Trump had claimed he didn’t believe that listening to foreign intelligence was wrong.
“It’s not an interference, they have information — I think I’d take it,” Trump said. “If I thought there was something wrong, I’d go maybe to the FBI — if I thought there was something wrong.”
Watch the video below:
EXCLUSIVE: Pres. Trump tells @GStephanopoulos he wouldn't necessarily alert the FBI if approached by foreign figures with information on his 2020 opponent: "It’s not an interference. They have information. I think I’d take it." https://t.co/yWRxMOaFqW pic.twitter.com/qwLw53s5yc
— ABC News (@ABC) June 12, 2019
While Trump did admit he would go to the FBI if he believed there was an issue, he also claimed that there was nothing wrong with listening.
“I think you might want to listen,” Trump said. “There’s nothing wrong with listening.”
Trump also took to Twitter to continue to defend his comments.
….call the FBI about these calls and meetings? How ridiculous! I would never be trusted again. With that being said, my full answer is rarely played by the Fake News Media. They purposely leave out the part that matters.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 13, 2019
“I meet and talk to ‘foreign governments’ every day,” Trump said. “[…] Should I immediately call the FBI about these calls and meetings?”
As IJR Blue reported, many criticized Trump’s comments, claiming that it was encouraging interference despite Trump claiming that was not his intentions.