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PoliticsEXCLUSIVE: Trump says he would listen if foreigners offered dirt on opponents

01:56  13 june  2019
01:56  13 june  2019 Source:   abcnews.go.com

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Trump says he may not alert FBI if info is offered by foreigners on 2020 candidatesIn an Trump disputed the idea that if a foreign government provided information on a political opponent , it would be Stephanopoulos asked whether Trump Jr. should have taken the Russians' offer for " dirt " on

President Trump on Wednesday wouldn't commit to calling the FBI if a foreign power offered damaging information on a political opponent . "I think maybe you do both," Trump said when asked whether he would call the FBI or listen if Russia, China or another foreign government reached out.

EXCLUSIVE: Trump says he would listen if foreigners offered dirt on opponents© ABC News ABC News' George Stephanopoulos talks with President Donald Trump at the White House in Washington, June 12, 2019.

President Donald Trump may not alert the FBI if foreign governments offered damaging information against his 2020 rivals during the upcoming presidential race, he said, despite the deluge of investigations stemming from his campaign’s interactions with Russians during the 2016 campaign.

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.”

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President Donald Trump may not alert the FBI if foreign governments offered damaging information against his 2020 rivals during the upcoming presidential race, he said , despite the deluge of investigations stemming from his campaign’s interactions with Russians during the 2016 campaign.

President Donald Trump has said that if foreign governments offered his campaign damaging 'I think I’d take it': Trump admits he WOULD listen if foreign actors offered dirt on his political Trump made the remark during an exclusive interview with ABC News over the course of two days

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

President 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.

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

(MORE: After Mueller report exposed Russian interference 'roadmap,' is US ready for 2020?)

“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.”

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[On Thursday, Mr. Trump equated taking dirt from Russia with presidential diplomacy.] His comments put him at odds not only with Democratic candidates His answer mirrored one given recently by Mr. Kushner, who said he was not sure he would call the F.B.I. if a foreign government again offered

(MORE: Trump defends saying he 'd be open to foreign governments offering dirt on his political opponents ). The president responded, "I think maybe you do both." "I think you might want to listen , there isn't anything wrong with listening ," Trump continued. "If somebody called from a country

President Trump lamented the attention on his son, Donald Trump Jr., for his role in the now-infamous Trump Tower meeting in June 2016. 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 responded.

(MORE: President denies knowing about Trump Tower meeting with Russians, despite Michael Cohen's claim)

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

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“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.”

Tune in next week for an hour-long ABC News special, only on ABC — including “ABC News Live,” the 24/7 streaming news channel available on abcnews.com, Roku, Hulu, Amazon Fire TV and Apple TV.

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