President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he would likely take information about his 2020 election rivals from foreign adversaries, such as Russia and China.
During an interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos, Trump was asked whether his campaign would accept information from foreign governments in this upcoming election or turn it over to the FBI.
“I think maybe you do both,” Trump said, adding that if Norway had information on an opponent, he thinks he would want to hear it. “I think you might want to listen, there’s nothing wrong with listening.”
When asked whether he would want that type of interference in the 2020 election, Trump said: “It’s not an interference.”
“They have information. I think I’d take it,” Trump continued. “If I thought there was something wrong, I’d go maybe to the FBI.”
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Intelligence officials have noted that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election. Former special counsel Robert Mueller, who conducted a probe into Moscow’s effort to interfere in the election, noted in his 448-page report that Russia’s interference was done in an effort to elect Trump.
The president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., on Wednesday met with lawmakers to discuss a June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower, where he’s previously said he believed he was getting damaging information on then-Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton.
The president’s son-in-law and adviser, Jared Kushner, has also recently declined to say whether he would call the FBI if he were invited to another meeting with Russia, like the one at Trump Tower.
Trump criticized earlier reports that said his son could be charged over the meeting.
“I was reading that my son was going to go to jail,” the president said. “This is a good young man, that he was going to go to jail.”
When asked whether Trump Jr. should have gone to the FBI, he said, “Put yourself in [that] position?”
“You’re a congressman, somebody comes up, and says, ‘Hey, I have information on your opponent.’ You call the FBI?”
“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,” he continued. “This is somebody that said we had information on your opponent. ‘Oh, let me call the FBI.’ Give me a break. Life doesn’t work that way.”
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Trump also criticized FBI Director Christopher Wray’s comments during a congressional testimony last month in which he told lawmakers that “the FBI would want to know about” any foreign election meddling.
“The FBI director is wrong,” he said.
“They come up with oppo research, ‘Oh, let’s call the FBI,'” Trump continued. “The FBI doesn’t have enough agents to take care of it.
“But you go and talk honestly to congressmen, they all do it. They’ve always had. And that’s the way it is, it’s called oppo research.”
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