Trump on addressing election interference with Putin: 'I may'

Trump on addressing election interference with Putin: 'I may'
© Getty Images

President TrumpDonald John TrumpEsper sidesteps question on whether he aligns more with Mattis or Trump Warren embraces Thiel label: 'Good' As tensions escalate, US must intensify pressure on Iran and the IAEA MORE in a new interview would not commit to addressing foreign election interference with Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinThe peculiar priorities of Adam Schiff Fox News's Shep Smith blasts Trump over 'xenophobic eruption' on minority lawmakers Juan Williams: GOP in a panic over Mueller MORE when they meet at the G20 summit later this month. 

Asked by host Chuck ToddCharles (Chuck) David ToddMegan Rapinoe reveals what she'd say to fans who are Trump supporters Rapinoe: Trump's message divides 'so he can conquer' Sanders: Pelosi is being 'a little bit' too tough on Ocasio-Cortez MORE on NBC's "Meet the Press" if he'd directly address the issue with Putin, Trump said, "I may."


"Are you going to tell him not to do it?" Todd asked. 

"I may if you'd like me to do it, I'll do that," Trump replied. 

The president later dismissed the significance of his recent comments about potentially listening to damaging information against an opponent from a foreign power during an election.

Todd noted that some people interpreted the remarks as Trump inviting Putin to interfere in a U.S. election again, prompting Trump to shoot back, "Oh, that's not true."

"My answer last week was both. I said both. I'd do both," Trump said, before claiming that the news media misinterpreted his remarks. "Except they didn't put it on. And when they did put it on people understood. But they didn't put it on because they put a different segment on. So they ask me a question. But when I said, 'Yeah, I'd do both,' people saw that in the last version of it because the thing played like all weekend and on Friday. So it's just more fake news. Chuck, there's so much fake news."

Special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerTop Republican considered Mueller subpoena to box in Democrats Kamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Dem committees win new powers to investigate Trump MORE's report, which was released in April, detailed Moscow's efforts to interfere in the 2016 election. The report noted that Mueller did not find sufficient evidence to conclude that a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Moscow took place. 

Trump sparked outrage from GOP and Democratic lawmakers earlier this month after he suggested in an interview with ABC News that he'd listen to damaging information on a political opponent from a foreign power. 

"I think you might want to listen. There’s nothing wrong with listening," he said. "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."

Trump defended his remarks, equating accepting information from a foreign government to his various diplomatic communications with foreign leaders as part of his role in the White House. 

"I meet and talk to 'foreign governments' every day. I just met with the Queen of England (U.K.), the Prince of Whales, the P.M. of the United Kingdom, the P.M. of Ireland, the President of France and the President of Poland. We talked about 'Everything!' " Trump tweeted.