Trump: 'Of course' you look at foreign dirt to 'know if it's bad'

President TrumpDonald TrumpDemocrats, activists blast reported Trump DOJ effort to get journalists' phone records Arizona secretary of state gets security detail over death threats surrounding election audit Trump admin got phone records of WaPo reporters covering Russia probe: report MORE on Friday said he would “of course” look at dirt from a foreign government on his political opponents, but stated he would give it to the FBI if he knew it was “bad.”

The comments were Trump’s latest attempt to do damage control over his comments to ABC News that he would accept damaging information about his rivals from hostile powers, which drew widespread backlash in Washington.


Asked during a call-in interview on “Fox & Friends” what he would do if he was given such information, Trump said “of course you have to look at it” to “know if it’s bad.”

But he added that “if I thought anything was incorrect or badly stated I'd report to the FBI or law enforcement, absolutely.”

“Of course you give it to the FBI or report it to the attorney general,” he added.

Despite the blowback he has faced from Democrats and Republicans, Trump said “I’ve had a lot of support” for his position, but did not cite any examples.

The president insisted he made it clear in his interview with ABC that he would report damaging information to the FBI, even though he told anchor George StephanopoulosGeorge Robert StephanopoulosHarris: I don't think America is a racist country, but we need to speak truth about history Biden meets with TV anchors ahead of joint address CDC director 'cautiously optimistic' about coronavirus situation in US MORE he would “maybe” do so.

“Everybody understands that and I thought it was made clear,” he said.

Trump added that he does not think “anyone would present me with anything this bad because they know how much I love this country.”

In his initial comments to ABC, the president scoffed at the idea of going to the FBI if he was presented with opposition research on his opponents from a foreign government.

“OK, let’s put yourself in a position: you’re a congressman, somebody comes up and says, ‘Hey I have information on your opponent.’ Do you call the FBI? You don’t,” Trump said. “I’ll tell you what. I’ve seen a lot of things over my life. I don’t think in my whole life I’ve ever called the FBI.”

Trump has given several explanations for his comments in the days since the interview aired, even likening the reception of campaign dirt from foreign actors to diplomatic meetings with the leaders of Britain and France.

Updated 9:28 a.m.