‘I think I’d take it.’ That’s the reaction of America’s 45th president when asked by ABC’s George Stephanopoulos whether he would accept information on an opponent from a foreign power.
In an extraordinary clip, Donald Trump says ‘There’s nothing wrong with listening.’
EXCLUSIVE: Pres. Trump tells @GStephanopoulos he wouldn't necessarily alert the FBI if approached by foreign figures with information on his 2020 opponent: "It’s not an interference. They have information. I think I’d take it." https://t.co/yWRxMOaFqW pic.twitter.com/qwLw53s5yc
— ABC News (@ABC) June 12, 2019
Read the full exchange below:
GS: Your son, Don Jr, is up before the Senate Intelligence Committee today, and again, he was not charged with anything, in retrospect though—
DT: By the way, not only wasn’t he charged, if you read it, with all of the horrible fake news, I mean, I was reading that my son was gonna go to jail — this is a good young man — that he was going to go to jail.
DT: And then the report comes out, and they didn’t even say, they hardly even talked about him.
GS: But in retrospect, should he have gone to the FBI when he got that email?
DT: OK, let’s put yourself in a position. You’re a congressman. Somebody comes up and says ‘hey, I have information on your opponent.’ Do you call the FBI?
GS: If it’s coming from Russia you do.
DT: 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—
GS: Al Gore got a stolen briefing book, he called the FBI.
DT: Well that’s different, a stolen briefing book, this isn’t a stolen— this is somebody that said ‘we have information on your opponent.’ ‘Oh, let me call the FBI’ — give me a break. Life doesn’t work that way.
GS: The FBI director says that’s what should happen.
DT: The FBI director is wrong.
GS: 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?
DT: I think maybe you do both. I think you might wanna listen. I don’t- there’s nothing wrong with listening. If somebody called, from a country — Norway — ‘we have information on your opponent’. ‘Oh’ — I think I’d wanna hear it.
GS: You want that kind of interference in our elections?
DT: 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, 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. But 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.’
Nothing like a drained swamp, is there…