Trump says he would listen if foreigners offered dirt on political opponent

President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocrats ask if they have reason to worry about UK result Trump scramble to rack up accomplishments gives conservatives heartburn Seven years after Sandy Hook, the politics of guns has changed 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 StephanopoulosBooker on Harris dropping out: 'Iowa voters should have the right to choose' Judiciary Democrat says House should focus on Ukraine, avoid Mueller report in articles of impeachment Impeachment can't wait MORE, came after special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerJeffries blasts Trump for attack on Thunberg at impeachment hearing Live coverage: House Judiciary to vote on impeachment after surprise delay Trump says he'll release financial records before election, knocks Dems' efforts 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.

ADVERTISEMENT

"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.Donald (Don) John TrumpMelania Trump's 'Be Best' hashtag trends after president goes after Greta Thunberg Trump Jr. blasts Time for choosing 'marketing gimmick' Greta Thunberg as Person of the Year White House calls Democratic witness's mentioning of president's youngest son 'classless' 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 ClintonMore than 200,000 Wisconsin voters will be removed from the rolls Trump is threatening to boycott the debates — here's how to make sure he shows up Trey Gowdy returns to Fox News as contributor 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."

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.