Donald Trump's admission he would accept incriminating evidence on opponents 'gives critics new ammunition'

  • Video report by ITV News Washington Correspondent Robert Moore

Just when you thought the Mueller investigation was receding into the distance, and just when you thought that Trump had turned the page, here we go again.

In a remarkable interview with ABC News aired last night, the President has ignited a whole new controversy about foreign interference in American democracy.

His critics now have new ammunition.

Today they are accusing Trump of ensuring that the 2020 presidential election campaign will be be under assault from hostile foreign powers.

The president's admission gives his critics ammunition against him, Robert Moore says. Credit: AP

It will, Democrats say, be open season on America, and political dirt will once more be the currency.

The President was asked - in the Oval Office no less - whether he would accept incriminating information from overseas about his political opponents ahead of the next election.

“I think you might want to listen,” Trump replied. “There’s nothing wrong with listening. If somebody called, from a country – Norway – ‘we have information on your opponent.’ Oh, I think I’d want to hear it.”

That’s not the view of the FBI, of course.

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The Bureau’s Director, Christopher Wray, has made clear that the only way to keep elections clean would be if candidates and campaign officials report any approaches by foreign governments or intelligence agencies.

When confronted with that view by ABC News last night, Trump was contemptuous. “The FBI director is wrong,” the president snapped back, adding: “Life doesn’t work like that.”

He did concede that perhaps the best approach would be to listen to the foreign intelligence and then phone the FBI.

Robert Mueller's investigation found no collusion between the US government and Russia. Credit: AP

On Tuesday, Trump launches his re-election campaign at a rally in Florida.

The 18-month political fight that follows will be brutal and ugly.

And circling over it will be the question of foreign interference in US democracy and whether, once more, Trump may be quietly hoping for intervention from abroad to tip the scales.