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Trump plays defense after saying he's open to information from foreign countries

Trump appears to invite interference in 2020

President Trump is playing defense after telling ABC's George Stephanopoulos he'd be open to listening to information from foreign governments that might damage his opponents in the next election, a comment that swiftly drew backlash.

Asked by Stephanopoulos whether he'd take information offered from a foreign government or alert the FBI, Mr. Trump suggested he might do both.

"I think you might want to listen, there isn't anything wrong with listening," Mr. Trump continued. "If somebody called from a country, Norway, [and said,] 'We have information on your opponent' — Oh, I think I'd want to hear it."

On Thursday morning, Mr. Trump made light of the issue by suggesting it would be absurd if he alerted the FBI to every conversation he has with foreign leaders. 

"I meet and talk to 'foreign governments' every day," the president tweeted Thursday morning. "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!" Should I immediately...call the FBI about these calls and meetings? How ridiculous! I would never be trusted again. With that being said, my full answer is rarely played by the Fake News Media. They purposely leave out the part that matters."

Democrats quickly seized on Mr. Trump's comments

"President Trump is once again welcoming foreign interference in our elections," former Vice President Joe Biden said. "This isn't about politics. It is a threat to our national security. An American President should not seek their aid and abet those who seek to undermine democracy." 

"The #MuellerReport made it clear: A foreign government attacked our 2016 elections to support Trump, Trump welcomed that help, and Trump obstructed the investigation," Sen. Elizabeth Warren tweeted. "Now, he said he'd do it all over again. It's time to impeach Donald Trump."