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Senate GOP blocks bill to force reporting of foreign dirt in campaigns

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A Republican senator blocked Democrats’ effort Thursday to try to pass a bill that would have required any presidential candidate who is offered dirt on an opponent by a foreign entity to report it to the FBI.

Sen. Mark Warner, Virginia Democrat, tried to get consent to speed the bill through the chamber, saying the need was pressing after President Trump said this week that he would listen to any offers, and might not report them.

Sen. Marsha Blackburn, Tennessee Republican, objected, derailing the effort.

She said Mr. Warner’s bill was “over broad,” and could require not only a candidate but every person hired or volunteering for a campaign to report every conversation they have with a foreigner. She said that could even include conversations with immigrants who have not yet earned citizenship here.

Mr. Warner said his bill didn’t cover mere conversations, but only required reporting for offers of illegal help.



Democrats insisted the issue will come back, and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer urged Republicans to rethink their stance.

“This one is a new low,” he said, adding he believed Mr. Trump’s comments amounted to “welcoming” new meddling.

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