"Let's distinguish between a foreign official making an off-hand comment at a dinner about the campaign versus a foreign government trying to influence an election. In the latter case, that would be unthinkable. It would be totally inappropriate, and it would strike at the heart of our democracy," Romney told reporters.
He added that it would "be wrong and unthinkable that any candidate for president would accept such information."
Romney was asked about Trump's comments to ABC News, where the president suggested he would be open to receiving opposition research about his 2020 opponents from foreign governments.
“I think you might want to listen. There’s nothing wrong with listening,” Trump told ABC. “It’s not an interference. They have information. I think I’d take it. If I thought there was something wrong, I’d go maybe to the FBI.”
Trump tried to clean up his remarks during a string of tweets on Thursday morning, but that's done little to stem the bipartisan furor on Capitol Hill. Romney is one of several Republicans who have distanced themselves from Trump's rhetoric.
Trump suggested during his ABC News that lawmakers would also accept information from a foreign government, a claim that could put dozens of Republicans running in 2020 in a bind as they decide whether or not to distance themselves from Trump's sentiment.