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Trump admits he WOULD listen if foreign actors offered dirt on political opponents ahead of election

President Donald Trump has said that if foreign governments offered his campaign damaging information against his 2020 rivals during the upcoming presidential race, he would ‘take it in’ before going to federal authorities.  

When asked by ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos in the Oval Office on Wednesday whether his campaign would accept such information from foreigners such as China or Russia or hand it over the FBI, Trump said, ‘I think maybe you do both.’

He continued: ‘I think you might want to listen, there isn’t anything wrong with listening. If somebody called from a country, Norway, [and said] “we have information on your opponent,” I think I’d want to hear it.’

Trump made the statement despite the deluge of investigations stemming from his campaign’s interactions with Russians during the 2016 campaign, while criticizing the attention paid to his son, Donald Trump, Jr. for his meeting with a Russian lawyer in 2016.

Trump made the remark during an exclusive interview with ABC News over the course of two days, wherein Stephanopoulos joined the president on a visit to Iowa and back to Washington for a day inside the White House, according to a press release provided by ABC News’ ‘World News Tonight with David Muir.’

Rolling Stone senior writer Jamil Smith pointed out Trump’s use of a Scandinavian country in his hypothetical example of accepting information from foreign agents, and equated the president’s comments to an admission of past acts, in a tweet on Wednesday.

‘Traitorous. Call it out for what it is. He accepted foreign help the first time. Didn’t do anything to stop it since. Now he is telling us he’ll do it again,’ Smith wrote.  ‘I love that he cites Norway, like it’s okay to take information from the white countries.’

Rolling Stone senior writer Jamil Smith pointed out Trump’s use of a Scandinavian country in his hypothetical example of accepting information from foreign agents, and equated the president’s comments to an admission of past acts, in a tweet on Wednesday

Newsweek columnist Seth Abramson agreed with Smith, tweeting, 'Trump just told us he'd try to steal the 2020 election by getting assistance from other countries, including hacked materials. He JUST TOLD US. If he's allowed to run in 2020, the election is a joke before it begins. THIS is what happens when you don't hold criminals accountable'

Newsweek columnist Seth Abramson agreed with Smith, tweeting, ‘Trump just told us he’d try to steal the 2020 election by getting assistance from other countries, including hacked materials. He JUST TOLD US. If he’s allowed to run in 2020, the election is a joke before it begins. THIS is what happens when you don’t hold criminals accountable’

Newsweek columnist Seth Abramson agreed with Smith, tweeting, ‘Trump just told us he’d try to steal the 2020 election by getting assistance from other countries, including hacked materials. He JUST TOLD US. If he’s allowed to run in 2020, the election is a joke before it begins. THIS is what happens when you don’t hold criminals accountable.’ 

Trump, however, referred to any information about opponents, no matter who it comes from, as ‘oppo research,’ and claimed ‘any member of Congress’ accepts it about their opponents. 

He disputed the idea that if a foreign government provided information on a political opponent, it would be considered interference in our election process.

‘It’s not an interference, they have information — I think I’d take it,’ Trump said. ‘If I thought there was something wrong, I’d go maybe to the FBI — if I thought there was something wrong.’ 

President Donald Trump has said that if foreign governments offered his campaign damaging information against his 2020 rivals during the upcoming presidential race, he would ‘take it in’ before, if at all, going to federal authorities, in an exclusive interview with ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopolous

It didn’t take long for Trump’s political adversaries to weigh in, with Senator Elizabeth Warren tweeting, ‘The #MuellerReport made it clear: A foreign government attacked our 2016 elections to support Trump, Trump welcomed that help, and Trump obstructed the investigation. Now, he said he’d do it all over again. It’s time to impeach Donald Trump.’

In a slightly different take, CNN Chief National Security Correspondent Jim Sciutto said, ‘The Special Counsel’s report effectively decriminalized accepting foreign help in a US election and now here we are.’ 

MSNBC justice and security analyst Matthew Miller said, ‘At some point there’s just not much left to say about Trump. He’s unfit for office, disloyal to the nation, and violates his oath right in front of us over and over again. You either care enough to do something about it or you don’t.’ 

It didn't take long for Trump's political adversaries to weigh in, with Senator Elizabeth Warren tweeting, 'The #MuellerReport made it clear: A foreign government attacked our 2016 elections to support Trump, Trump welcomed that help, and Trump obstructed the investigation. Now, he said he'd do it all over again. It's time to impeach Donald Trump'

It didn’t take long for Trump’s political adversaries to weigh in, with Senator Elizabeth Warren tweeting, ‘The #MuellerReport made it clear: A foreign government attacked our 2016 elections to support Trump, Trump welcomed that help, and Trump obstructed the investigation. Now, he said he’d do it all over again. It’s time to impeach Donald Trump’

In a slightly different take, CNN Chief National Security Correspondent Jim Sciutto said, 'The Special Counsel’s report effectively decriminalized accepting foreign help in a US election and now here we are'

In a slightly different take, CNN Chief National Security Correspondent Jim Sciutto said, ‘The Special Counsel’s report effectively decriminalized accepting foreign help in a US election and now here we are’

MSNBC justice and security analyst Matthew Miller said, 'At some point there’s just not much left to say about Trump. He’s unfit for office, disloyal to the nation, and violates his oath right in front of us over and over again. You either care enough to do something about it or you don’t'

MSNBC justice and security analyst Matthew Miller said, ‘At some point there’s just not much left to say about Trump. He’s unfit for office, disloyal to the nation, and violates his oath right in front of us over and over again. You either care enough to do something about it or you don’t’

In the interview, Trump also expressed his upset over the attention on his son, Donald Jr., for his role in the now-infamous Trump Tower meeting in June 2016, as Stephanopoulos asked whether Trump Jr. should have taken the Russians’ offer for ‘dirt’ on then-candidate Hillary Clinton to the FBI.

‘Somebody comes up and says, “Hey, I have information on your opponent,” do you call the FBI?’ Trump asked in response.

‘I’ll tell you what, I’ve seen a lot of things over my life. I don’t think in my whole life I’ve ever called the FBI. In my whole life. You don’t call the FBI. 

Trump maintained that accepting what he called 'oppo research' (opposition research) from foreign actors was not the same as interference in US elections

Trump maintained that accepting what he called ‘oppo research’ (opposition research) from foreign actors was not the same as interference in US elections

Trump also expressed his upset over the attention on his son, Donald Jr., for his role in the now-infamous Trump Tower meeting in June 2016, as Stephanopoulos asked whether Trump Jr. should have taken the Russians’ offer for 'dirt' on then-candidate Hillary Clinton to the FBI

Trump also expressed his upset over the attention on his son, Donald Jr., for his role in the now-infamous Trump Tower meeting in June 2016, as Stephanopoulos asked whether Trump Jr. should have taken the Russians’ offer for ‘dirt’ on then-candidate Hillary Clinton to the FBI

'Somebody comes up and says, "Hey, I have information on your opponent," do you call the FBI?' Trump asked in response. 'I’ll tell you what, I've seen a lot of things over my life. I don't think in my whole life I’ve ever called the FBI. In my whole life. You don’t call the FBI. Trump is pictured on Wednesday in the Rose Garden at the White House

‘Somebody comes up and says, “Hey, I have information on your opponent,” do you call the FBI?’ Trump asked in response. ‘I’ll tell you what, I’ve seen a lot of things over my life. I don’t think in my whole life I’ve ever called the FBI. In my whole life. You don’t call the FBI. Trump is pictured on Wednesday in the Rose Garden at the White House

Trump continued: ‘You throw somebody out of your office, you do whatever you do. Oh, give me a break – life doesn’t work that way.’

‘The FBI director said that is what should happen,’ Stephanopoulos replied, referring to comments FBI Director Christopher Wray made during congressional testimony last month, when he told lawmakers ‘the FBI would want to know about’ any foreign election meddling.

But on Wednesday, the president refuted Wray’s sentiment.

‘The FBI director is wrong, because frankly it doesn’t happen like that in life,’ Trump said. ‘Now maybe it will start happening, maybe today you’d think differently.’

Twitter user Robert Mansion disagreed with Trump’s analysis, tweeting, ‘@WhiteHouse Wrong message, wrong president. America deserves better!!’

An hour-long special from the interview will air next week, only on ABC, which includes ‘ABC News Live,’ the network’s streaming news channel. 

Twitter user Robert Mansion disagreed with Trump's outlook on accepting information on opponents from foreign agents, tweeting, '@WhiteHouse Wrong message, wrong president. America deserves better!!'

Twitter user Robert Mansion disagreed with Trump’s outlook on accepting information on opponents from foreign agents, tweeting, ‘@WhiteHouse Wrong message, wrong president. America deserves better!!’

Trump referred to any information about opponents, no matter who it comes from, as 'oppo research,' and claimed 'any member of Congress' accepts it about their opponents. He disputed the idea that if a foreign government, like Russia, provided information on a political opponent, it would be considered interference in our election process. ussian President Vladimir Putin is pictured during the State Awards Ceremony at the Grand Kremlin Palace in Moscow, Russia on Wednesday

Trump referred to any information about opponents, no matter who it comes from, as ‘oppo research,’ and claimed ‘any member of Congress’ accepts it about their opponents. He disputed the idea that if a foreign government, like Russia, provided information on a political opponent, it would be considered interference in our election process. ussian President Vladimir Putin is pictured during the State Awards Ceremony at the Grand Kremlin Palace in Moscow, Russia on Wednesday

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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