In a Wednesday interview with ABC host George Stephanopoulos, the president admitted on camera that he doesn't think it should be illegal for a candidate to take "dirt" from a foreign adversary that has hacked an opposing campaign. It prompted the host to wonder if it was a signal to other countries as the new election begins.
MSNBC host Chris Matthews said that it's very clear the president is signaling "Trump 2020 campaign is open for business" from foreign leaders.
"Two years of the Mueller report and now we have the president’s motive," Matthews said. "There is nong wrong with taking dirt from the Russians. It’s a shocking statement from a president who won with help from Moscow in 2016 and signals to foreign governments around the world that his 2020 campaign is open for business."
Trump has continued to make friends with Russian leaders as well as North Korea, who has been known to hack United States businesses.
"It's so inconsistent with the values we all understand our politicians live by, Republican and Democrat," said NBC national security reporter Ken Dilanian. "It’s outside the mainstream. Stephanopoulos went on to say, 'By the way, had a debate prep book from George W. Bush. He called the FBI.' He didn't use it because that was the ethos. And Trump is blowing it all up. And you're absolutely right, he's sending a signal to the Chinese and the Russians and anyone who want to interfere, it’s open season. Hack, investigate, use intelligence methods to get incriminating information about opponents and hand it to Donald Trump."
"When I heard the president say that and nothing wrong with taking dirt from a foreign power, I thought that’s why his lawyers wouldn’t let him give live testimony," Matthew said. "Because they were afraid this character would just do a Perry Mason and say 'All right, I did. So what?'"
Watch the opener below: