AP

Trump Says He’d ‘Want to Hear’ Foreign Dirt on 2020 Rivals

Jun 12, 2019, 8:55 PM | Updated: Jun 8, 2022, 5:05 pm
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 12: U.S. President Donald Trump participates in a roundtable discussion on the administration's efforts to combat the opioid epidemic, in the Roosevelt Room at the White House on June 12, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump said Wednesday that if a foreign power offered dirt on his 2020 opponent, he’d be open to accepting it and that he’d have no obligation to call in the FBI.

“I think I’d want to hear it,” Trump said in an interview with ABC News, adding, “There’s nothing wrong with listening.”

The role of Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., in organizing a 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer offering negative information on Hillary Clinton was a focus of special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of Russian meddling in the last presidential campaign.

Mueller painstakingly documented Russian efforts to boost Trump’s campaign and undermine that of his Democratic rival. But while Mueller’s investigation didn’t establish a criminal conspiracy between Russia and Trump’s campaign, Trump repeatedly praised WikiLeaks in 2016 and celebrated information exposed by Russian hackers.

One of Trump’s challengers, former Vice President Joe Biden, tweeted: “President Trump is once again welcoming foreign interference in our elections. This isn’t about politics. It is a threat to our national security. An American President should not seek their aid and abet those who seek to undermine democracy.”

Several of Trump’s other Democratic opponents in the 2020 race, including Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Kirsten Gillibrand and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, repeated their calls to begin impeachment hearings in the wake of the president’s latest remarks.

Trump’s comments came just a month after he pledged not to use information stolen by foreign adversaries in his 2020 reelection campaign, even as he wrongly insisted he hadn’t used such information to his benefit in 2016.

During a question-and-answer session with reporters in the Oval Office in May, Trump said he “would certainly agree to” that commitment.

“I don’t need it,” he said as he met with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. “All I need is the opponents that I’m looking at.”

Trump also insisted erroneously that he “never did use, as you probably know,” such information, adding: “That’s what the Mueller report was all about. They said no collusion.”

FBI Director Christopher Wray told lawmakers that Donald Trump Jr. should have called his agency to report the offer.

But Trump, who nominated Wray to the role in 2017, told ABC News that he disagrees. “The FBI director is wrong,” the president said. He added, “Life doesn’t work like that.”

Asked whether his advisers should accept information on an opponent from Russia, China or another nation or call the FBI this time, Trump said, “I think maybe you do both,” expressing openness to reviewing the information.

“I think you might want to listen,” he said. “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.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

AP

The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) stands in lower Manhattan on June 27, 2022 in New York City. The...
ALEX VEIGA and STAN CHOE, AP Business Writers

From stocks to crypto, a punishing six months for investors

Americans with stock portfolios or retirement investment plans would likely prefer to forget the last six months.
20 hours ago
FILE PHOTO...
Associated Press

Woman fatally shot while pushing stroller on Upper East Side

Police say a 20-year-old woman was fatally shot while she pushed her infant daughter in a stroller on the Upper East Side in New York.
20 hours ago
(Yellowstone National Park/Twitter)...
Associated Press

2nd visitor in 3 days gored by Yellowstone park bison

For the second time in three days, a visitor to Yellowstone National Park has been gored by a bison.
20 hours ago
This undated photo provided by the U.S. Marshals Service shows Kaitlin Marie Armstrong. Police were...
KEN MILLER, Associated Press

Texas woman accused in cyclist death arrested in Costa Rica

The U.S. Marshals Service says a Texas woman suspected in the fatal shooting of professional cyclist Anna Moriah Wilson at an Austin home has been arrested in Costa Rica.
20 hours ago
Fencing surrounds the U.S. Supreme Court as it nears the end of its term, June 27, 2022 in Washingt...
JESSICA GRESKO, Associated Press

Supreme Court: Biden properly ended Trump-era asylum policy

The Supreme Court has ruled that the Biden administration properly ended a Trump-era policy forcing some U.S. asylum-seekers to wait in Mexico.
20 hours ago
FILE: The U.S. Supreme Court is shown on April 25, 2022, in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Kevin Dietsc...
MARK SHERMAN, Associated Press

Supreme Court limits EPA in curbing power plant emissions

In blow to climate-change fight, Supreme Court limits EPA's regulation of carbon dioxide emissions from power plants.
20 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

hand holding 3d rendering mobile connect with security camera for security solutions...
Les Olson

Wondering what security solutions are right for you? Find out more about how to protect your surroundings

Physical security helps everyone. Keep your employees, clients, and customers safe with security solutions that protect your workplace.
Many rattan pendant lights, hay hang from the ceiling.Traditional and simple lighting....
Lighting Design

The Best Ways to Style Rattan Pendant Lighting in Your Home

Rattan pendant lights create a rustic and breezy feel, and are an easy way to incorporate this hot trend into your home decor.
Earth day 2022...
1-800-GOT-JUNK?

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
Lighting trends 2022...

Lighting Trends 2022 | 5 Beautiful Home Lighting Trends You Can Expect to See this Year and Beyond

This is where you can see the latest lighting trends for 2022 straight from the Lightovation Show at the Dallas World Trade Center.
What Can't You Throw Away in the Trash...

What Can’t You Throw Away in the Trash? | 5 Things You Shouldn’t Throw in to Your Trash Can

What can't you throw away in the trash? Believe it or not, there are actually many items that shouldn't be thrown straight into the trash.
Trump Says He’d ‘Want to Hear’ Foreign Dirt on 2020 Rivals