President Donald Trump is honest and practical about his position regarding accepting damaging information on his 2020 opponents from foreign countries such as Russia and China.
During an exclusive interview with ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos in the Oval Office on Wednesday, Trump said he would consider taking political dirt on his 2020 presidential rivals from foreign adversaries.
Stephanopoulos asked Trump, “Your campaign this time around, if foreigners, if Russia, if China, if someone else offers you information on opponents, should they accept it or should they call the FBI?”
The President responded, “I think maybe you do both. I think you might want to listen, there’s nothing wrong with listening. If somebody called from a country, Norway, ‘we have information on your opponent.’ Oh, I think I’d want to hear it.”
When asked if he want that kind of interference in the U.S. elections, Trump said, “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 will not alert FBI regarding opposition research
The President called the information from foreign nations as “oppo research.” He thinks U.S. congressmen are doing the same thing when it comes to opposition research. “That’s the way it is. It’s called oppo research,” he said.
Trump said he have seen a lot of thing in his life and never called the FBI. Stephanopoulos said Al Gore called the FBI when he got a stolen briefing book. He replied, “Well, that’s different, a stolen briefing book. This isn’t– this is somebody who said, “We have information on your opponent.” Oh, let me call the FBI. Give me a break, life doesn’t work that way.”
The President also disagreed with the FBI director’s opinion that the agency should be alerted when foreign adversaries offer political dirt.
“The FBI Director is wrong because, frankly, it doesn’t happen like that in life. Now, maybe it will start happening. Maybe today you think differently. But two or three years ago, if somebody comes into your office with oppo research…with information that might be good or bad or something, but good for you, bad for your opponent, you don’t call the FBI,” said Trump.
“I would guarantee you that 90 percent could be 100 percent, of the congressmen or the senators over there, have had meetings. If they didn’t they probably wouldn’t be elected– on negative information about their opponent,” he added.