President TrumpDonald TrumpUN meeting with US, France canceled over scheduling issue Trump sues NYT, Mary Trump over story on tax history McConnell, Shelby offer government funding bill without debt ceiling MORE on Wednesday wouldn't commit to calling the FBI if a foreign power offered damaging information on a political opponent.
The comments, in an interview with ABC's George StephanopoulosGeorge Robert StephanopoulosSurgeon general: 'Our enemy is the virus. It is not one another' Christie: Biden's new vaccine mandate will 'harden opposition' GOP senator on Texas abortion law: Supreme Court will 'swat it away' when 'it comes to them in an appropriate manner' MORE, came after special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE's report, released earlier this year, detailed numerous efforts by Russia to interfere in the 2016 election.
"I think maybe you do both," Trump said when asked whether he would call the FBI or listen if Russia, China or another foreign government reached out.
"I think you might want to listen. There’s nothing wrong with listening," he continued. "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."
Stephanopoulos noted that FBI Director Christopher Wray has said campaigns should reach out to the bureau if they are contacted by a foreign entity.
"The FBI director is wrong," Trump said.
Mueller's nearly two-year investigation into interference in the 2016 election did not establish a criminal conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russian government.
However, the special counsel's final report detailed various instances of Russia attempting to interfere in the 2016 election and documented "numerous links" and conversations between Trump campaign officials and Moscow.
One particular event came under intense scrutiny. Donald Trump Jr.Don TrumpHow Trump uses fundraising emails to remain undisputed leader of the GOP Donald Trump Jr. joins Cameo Book claims Trump family members were 'inappropriately' close with Secret Service agents MORE accepted a meeting in the summer of 2016 at Trump Tower with a Russian lawyer who had promised damaging information on the president’s Democratic opponent, Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGOP political operatives indicted over illegal campaign contribution from Russian national in 2016 Clinton lawyer's indictment reveals 'bag of tricks' Attorney charged in Durham investigation pleads not guilty MORE.
Trump Jr. and others in attendance have maintained that the meeting was a "waste of time" and that nothing came of it.
The president defended his son in Wednesday's interview and scoffed when asked whether Trump Jr. should have alerted the FBI about the Russian advances.
"This is somebody that said, 'We have information on your opponent,'" Trump said. "'Oh, let me call the FBI.' Give me a break. Life doesn’t work that way."
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
The president and some of his allies have defended the meeting, chalking it up to standard opposition research.
Trump's comments are sure to roil Democrats, some of whom have called to begin impeachment proceedings based on Mueller's findings.
The House Intelligence Committee held a hearing Wednesday to elaborate on the report's key takeaways, and the House Judiciary Committee has said it will conduct a series of hearings centered on the special counsel's findings.