22:21 GMT22 October 2020
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    During an interview with ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos in the Oval Office Wednesday, US President Donald Trump admitted he may not notify the FBI if he receives damaging information from foreign countries on candidates for the 2020 US presidential election.

    "I think maybe you do both," Trump said during the interview when Stephanopoulos asked whether he would accept information from countries like China or Russia or hand it to the FBI. 

    "I think you might want to listen; there isn't anything wrong with listening," Trump added. "If somebody called from a country, Norway, [and said] ‘We have information on your opponent' — oh, I think I'd want to hear it."

    Trump also refuted the notion that a foreign government offering information on political rivals is interference in the US election.

    "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. But when somebody comes up with oppo research, right, they come up with oppo research, 'Oh let's call the FBI.' The FBI doesn't have enough agents to take care of it. When you go and talk, honestly, to congressmen, they all do it. They always have, and that's the way it is. It's called oppo research."

    Last year, Trump admitted in a Twitter post that the notorious Trump Tower meeting in June 2016 involving his son Donald Trump Jr. was aimed at getting information on his opponent, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. He also insisted that these types of meetings are "totally legal and done all the time in politics."

    ​When Stephanopoulos asked during the interview whether Trump Jr. should have notified the FBI about the Russians' offer to provide "dirt" on Clinton in 2016, Trump responded, "Somebody comes up and says, ‘Hey, I have information on your opponent.' Do you call the FBI?"

    "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." 

    "The FBI director said that is what should happen," Stephanopoulos responded. Last month, FBI Director Christopher Wray told lawmakers during a congressional testimony that "the FBI would want to know about" any foreign interference in the election process. 

    "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."


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    foreign interference, election meddling, political opponents, election, Donald Trump Jr, Donald Trump, China, United States, Russia
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