Politics: EXCLUSIVE: Trump says he would listen if foreigners offered dirt on opponents - - PressFrom - US

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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His former lawyer Michael Cohen says he did. Whether he knew is beside the point. Senior officials of his campaign were willing to accept help from Vladimir Putin; they were saved only because the By contrast, the Clinton campaign proactively sought dirt on Trump from Russian government sources.

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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.”

Trump plays defense after comments about getting dirt from foreign powers

Trump plays defense after comments about getting dirt from foreign powers President Trump is playing defense after saying he'd be open to listening to information from foreign governments that might damage his election opponents.

Trump Jr. told congressional investigators in 2017 that he did not know who the blocked calls were with. When asked if he told his father about the meeting or the underlying offer of dirt on Clinton, he told the Senate Judiciary Committee "I said , ' Listen , there's some people that want to meet you.'

It said nothing at all about Mr. Trump ’s request for help from Russia — a remark that had unnerved American intelligence and law enforcement officials But the indictment did offer some clues about what happened, implying that the hacking had occurred later on the day Mr. Trump issued his invitation.

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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.”

GOP leader says Trump would take 'the right action' if foreign entity offered political dirt

GOP leader says Trump would take 'the right action' if foreign entity offered political dirt House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy said he believes President Trump would take the right steps if a foreign entity offered him damaging information on a political opponent. "I've watched this president. I've listened to this president. He does not want foreign governments interfering in our election. He's been very strong about that," McCarthy said. "He's been so strong against Russia." require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

Email exchanges reviewed by The Times offer a detailed unspooling of how an eager Donald Trump Jr Donald Trump Jr. received an email on June 3, 2016, promising dirt on Hillary Clinton. He also said he would testify under oath in any of the investigations into possible collusion between Russia

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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.”

(MORE: A Mueller report guide to collusion: What is it and what could we still learn?)

“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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