Fox & Friends’ co-host Brian Kilmeade directly criticized the president Thursday morning for saying he would welcome foreign intel on his political opponents. The rare attack followed Donald Trump’s candid remarks to Good Morning America anchor George Stephanopoulos in which he indicated that he would not immediately alert the FBI to more interference in U.S. politics.
“I think the president has to clarify that,” Kilmeade said. “He opened himself wide up to attacks.”
Trump had told Stephanopoulos that he would likely take information from a foreign entity about a political opponent, adding that he did not think it was wrong to do so. He said he would call the FBI only if he saw something wrong with the information. FBI Director Christopher Wray has explicitly explained that any politician should alert the bureau in such cases.
“Put it this way: Nothing is free in this world,” Kilmeade said. “You don’t want a foreign government or foreign entity giving you information because they will want something back.”
“If anybody knows that, it is the president. There is no free lunch. If someone wants information, they want influence.”
Kilmeade then gave a hypothetical example in which China called the president to say they had information on Democratic hopeful Pete Buttigieg. “The president should just say, ‘Keep it, I got this,’” Kilmeade said. “Because I don’t want to owe China, or Russia, something in return.”
Friends’ co-hosts Steve Doocy and Ainsley Earhardt fought from Trump’s corner, agreeing that the FBI did not have enough agents to field every call and repeating the old talking point that the Democrats were to blame for the Mueller investigation.
Kilmeade wouldn’t have it.
“If someone wants information, they want influence,” he said.