Rep. Chris Stewart weighed in on whether a political campaign accepting information about political rivals from foreign governments Friday, saying it would be okay if the information came from an ally.
“One of our close allies may have information that is valuable,” said Stewart. “If it looks credible, they would be foolish not to take that.”
Federal Election Commission clarified on Wednesday that it is illegal for candidates running for public office to receive help from a foreign government.
President Donald Trump said during an interview this week he would consider taking information about his political opponents from another country. Stewart attempted to deflect from the outrage surrounding Trump’s comments by casting blame on Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign.
“They hired a foreign agent with close ties to Russian oligarchs who then used Russian agents and they used that information to influence a campaign. Don’t you see the irony of those who are criticizing the president for something he said and not criticizing Hillary Clinton and the Democrats for something they actually did?” said Stewart.
Stewart is referencing former British Intelligence agent Christopher Steele as the “foreign agent.” However, it’s worth pointing out that Steele was not connected to any foreign government when he was employed during the 2016 campaign. Additionally, Steele was initially hired by Republican opponents of Donald Trump to dig up dirt on him at the beginning of the 2016 race.
Stewart did say he would support reforms to prevent foreign interference in the 2020 elections, but also added he would like to see an investigation into agents at the CIA and FBI who he alleges may have taken improper steps to help Clinton in 2016.