Donald Trump said on 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,” the US president said in an interview with ABC News, adding: “There’s nothing wrong with listening.”
The role of Mr Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., in organising 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.
Mr Mueller painstakingly documented Russian efforts to boost Mr Trump’s campaign and undermine that of his Democratic rival. But while Mr Mueller’s investigation didn’t establish a criminal conspiracy between Russia and Mr Trump’s campaign, Mr Trump repeatedly praised WikiLeaks in 2016 and celebrated information exposed by Russian hackers.
One of Mr Trump’s challengers, former Vice President Joe Biden, described Mr Trump’s comments as a “threat to our national security”.