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Trump Indicates Willingness To Accept Dirt On Opponents From Foreign Operatives

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President Donald Trump has repeatedly denied colluding with Russia to win the 2016 presidential election but now suggests he would be willing to accept damaging information about his opponent from a foreign government to remain in the White House.

Trump made the shocking revelation about potentially accepting foreign assistance during an interview with ABC News' Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos, claiming all politicians are open to doing the same thing.

Asked whether he would accept information about an opponent from Russia or China or alert the FBI, Trump said, "I think maybe you do both."

"I think you might want to listen, there's nothing wrong with listening," Trump continued. "If somebody called from a country, Norway, 'we have information on your opponent.' Oh, I think I'd want to hear it."

Trump argued a foreign country offering information was not the same as election interference and claimed the FBI does not have enough agents to investigate such matters.

"But you go and talk honestly to congressmen, they all do it, they always have," Trump said. "And that's the way it is. It's called oppo research."

When Stephanopoulos pointed out that FBI Director Christopher Wray has said the agency should be contacted about offers of information from foreign operatives, Trump stated, "The FBI Director is wrong."

"Frankly, it doesn't happen like that in life," Trump said. "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-- they call it 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," he added.

Trump's comments were partly seen as an effort to defend his son, Donald Trump Jr., who met with a Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer offering "dirt" on Hillary Clinton during the 2016 campaign.

However, the president's remarks have also fueled concerns about foreign interference in the 2020 election, with critics arguing that Trump has signaled an openness to further meddling.

(Photo: Marc Nozell)

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