Trump changes course, says he would 'absolutely' report foreign campaign intelligence to FBI

John Fritze

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump said Friday he would "absolutely" report political dirt dug up by a foreign country to federal authorities, seeking to quell a controversy over comments he made a day earlier in a high-profile interview.  

"Of course you give it to the FBI or report to the attorney general or somebody like that," Trump told Fox and Friends in a live interview Friday. "Of course you do that. I thought it was made clear." 

The president told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos earlier this week that he'd accept dirt on his 2020 opponent from a foreign government and might or might not turn it over to the FBI. Trump argued that such information amounts to "opposition research" widely used by campaigns.

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Trump drew fire from Democrats and some Republicans for his remarks. 

"Everybody in the country should be totally appalled by what the president said last night," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Thursday. "But he has a habit of making appalling statements." 

It wasn't only Democrats who raised concerns about Trump's position. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a close White House ally, said, "I think it’s a mistake of law.” 

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Trump changes course, says he would 'absolutely' report foreign campaign intelligence to FBI