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You are here News Politics Politico: I Ran Oppo Research Against Donald Trump. He Has No Idea What He’s Talking About.

Politico: I Ran Oppo Research Against Donald Trump. He Has No Idea What He’s Talking About.

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I ran opposition against Trump.  He doesn't know what he's talking aboutPresident Donald Trump dismissed concerns about his eldest son’s meeting with a Kremlin-linked lawyer and a former Soviet spy promising dirt on Hillary Clinton with a wave of his hand. “It’s called opposition research,” he said at a news conference in Paris on Thursday. A day earlier, the president had asserted, “I think many people would have held that meeting.”

As a professional opposition researcher who has been doing it for over a decade, I know nothing is farther from the truth.

During the 2016 election cycle I was the research director at American Bridge 21st Century, where I led the investigative efforts targeting Trump. The opposition research department at Bridge is one of the largest in politics, investigating Republicans at all levels of government to hold them accountable for their actions. Even in a partisan research environment, though, there are rules and standards.

At Bridge and everywhere else, a simple rule governs how we work: All information gathered must be lawfully obtained. Most opposition research manuals have instructions for not violating the law on the first few pages. You don’t break into opponents’ offices and take files or plant bugs, you don’t fake your opponents’ social security numbers to get their credit reports, and you certainly don’t sit in on meetings where a foreign attorney promises sensitive information obtained by a rival government.

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