U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he would take damaging information against his 2020 political rivals from foreign adversaries.
Speaking with ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos on Wednesday, Trump was asked if his campaign would accept information from countries such as China or Russia, or hand it over to the FBI. In response, Trump replied, “I think maybe you do both.”
“I think you might want to listen; there isn’t anything wrong with listening,” Trump said.
“If somebody called from a country, Norway, [and said] ‘we have information on you opponent’ — oh, I think I’d want to hear it.”
Trump continued, saying he does not think that a foreign government providing information on a political opponent would be considered interference in the electoral 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.”
When asked whether he thinks his son, Donald Trump, Jr., should have reported the offer from the Russians for information on Hillary Clinton to the FBI, Trump said “life doesn’t work that way.”
“Somebody comes up and says, ‘hey, I have information on your opponent,’ do you call the FBI?” Trump said.
“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 someone out of your office, you do whatever you do,” he continued. “Oh, give me a break. Life doesn’t work that way.”
Trump’s comments are in stark contrast to remarks he made last month, when he pledged not to use information stolen by foreign adversaries in his 2020 re-election campaign.
During a question-and-answer session with reporters at the Oval Office during a visit from Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban in May, Trump was asked if he would commit to not using information stolen by foreign adversaries during his re-election campaign.
“Well I never did use any, as you probably know. That’s what the Mueller report was all about,” he said.
“They said no collusion, and I would certainly agree to that. I don’t need it. All I need is the opponents that I’m looking at.”
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