Can't take 'information from a foreign agent. It's against the law': Chris Christie

The "This Week" Powerhouse Roundtable reacts to George Stephanopoulos' exclusive interview with Donald Trump.
7:59 | 06/16/19

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Transcript for Can't take 'information from a foreign agent. It's against the law': Chris Christie
It's not okay for any public official to receive assistance from a foreign government. If a foreign agent approached me with anything including but not limited to dirt on my opponent I'd call the FBI. That would be simply unthinkable for a candidate for president to accept that involvement, to encourage it. Participate in it in any shape or form. It would strike at the very heart of our democracy. Senate Republicans there clearing rattled by the president's comments. Let's get reaction from our powerhouse roundtable. Former New Jersey governor and ABC news contributor Chris Christie. Democratic strategist Stefanie brown James. And Rick Kline and Julie pace, Washington bureau chief for the associated press. So, governor Christie, why is the president saying this? Well, I think it's because it's what he's really think. One thing about Donald Trump most of the time when he's emotional like he was in that interview, you can see a number of times he was emotional, he's saying what he really thinks. He does think people take that dirt from foreign governments all the time. Put in context -- They don't. I understand that. Let me explain that to you, Jon. This guy has never been involved in politics before. He's been involved in business where a lot of things that happen in business that might be acceptable when you're a public official taking an oath of office that's not acceptable. That's not to explain away his statement. It's to help people out there understand why he. Let us be clear, you can't take that information from a foreign gft. It's against the law. Subject to prosecution. Now, the president's backed off a bit since George's interview and said, you know, I would call the FBI. If I thought that there was something bad in there. Let's play that. We see that. He called into "Fox and friends." This is what he said. Of course, you have to look at it, because if you don't look at it if you're not going to be bad. Because if you don't know it's of course you give it to the attorney general or someone like that. So, Stefanie, does this change the calculus on impeachment? Listen, Donald Trump is exactly the gift that the Democrats need. They only need him to keep talking. He's the evidence that they need to show why he needs to be out of office. I mean, this is a man who, I believe you, he legitimately thinks people are out to get him. Now if he continues to talk -- He's not wrong about that. But, for reasons that he's just oblivious to all of the mistakes that he's made, what Democrats need to do is, focus on, yes, we do want to get out information. This is moment for Democrats to continue to make sure they're pressing forward with their agenda. Because this is going to be a rollout of information. This is why Stefanie's one of the smartest Democrats. You asked her about impeachment and ask she didn't answer it. If they do it, it's the gift that Donald Trump will win him the election. I don't think that's true. I don't think that's true. Why aren't you doing it? Why aren't you doing it? I think they're going to move forward in some kind of way. With impeachment? I wouldn't be surprised if the Democrats rolled that way. I would not. There we go. But what I'm saying is, though, I truly believe they're focused on they're talking about their agenda. I think that's where the American people really are. They want to know what the government is doing for me. What is the government doing for me? The impeachment process isn't going to get us to the place with Donald Trump out of office. Now, Rick, you've been talk ING to Democrats. And I think it's key -- we're focused on the momentum for house members coming out in favor of impeachment. Nancy Pelosi isn't. She's looking at different numbers entirely. I talked to a house Democrat who's close to Pelosi yesterday, look, 65 or so for impeachment. Probably another 100 who would vote for an inquiry. If it came to the floor. But there are about 150 hard nos. They don't have 118 votes. Unless that changes, you're talking about people like Abigail and Alyssa, if they start to turn, yes. If he defied a court order, if something took it another level. Fight congressional subpoenas? It goes beyond that. They bring that to court. I don't think Pelosi is going to move on this. With a majority of the presidential candidates and majority of the Democrats on the judiciary committee being in favor of impeachment. Those lawmakers put Democrats over the edge to put them in the majority. They're really split. They're are red/blue districts. Pelosi will be watching those lawmakers if their politics back home show that impeachment is now a viable option that's the signal she'll be looking from. We're seeing nothing of the sort from those lawmakers. Let me clarify what you're talking about. There are 50 hard-nos, if it came to a vote it would not pass. I could see 50 Democrats showing Pelosi I'm a hard no. If it came down to a vote, vote no? One thing to tell the speaker not to go forward and it's another thing to step forward -- And those things are connected. She has more pressure on her now, even some members on her leadership team are moving in that direction. She knows how to count heads. And look, it's not like she wants to advertise the fact you can imagine president trump using that vote, or even reporting on that vote as a badge of honor. But she's protecting her own members and looking out for what they view as the right political and policy move. Jon, places like New Jersey, where a number of Republican seats got flipped. Someone like Mike, in my district, traditionally Republican district for 40 years, or Andy Kim, another district even longer Republican. If they came out and said they were for impeachment, they'd be out in 2020. In fact, if it came to a vote members like that would vote no. Because they're preserving their seat rather than worrying about the other issues. No doubt. At the end of the day, Democrats need to make sure they're staying focus on the election. Nothing is going to move forward in the senate about impeachment. The only thing that's going to get Donald Trump out of office is the elections. For them to focus on what are we doing to make sure that our agenda is getting out to the American public, to talk very clearly about the fact that we passed a lot of legislative priorities we had, that's the only thing that's going to get Donald Trump out of office. That's the crux of argument for Nancy Pelosi. If your goal is to have trump not serve a second term, you have to focus on beating him at the ballot box. The senate is in Republican hands. There's no way he would be out of office on impeachment. That so far is being a pretty compelling argument to a majority of her caucus. Take that was a vindication. Get impeached and then he got exonerated in the senate. Trump looks at the politics from the Clinton era, the second term. He left office more popular after that. He was able to rally his base because of the opposition.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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