Trump reverses course, says ‘of course’ he would report foreign interference

US president Donald Trump made a u-turn and said he will report foreign interference in any political campaign. (AFP pic)

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump on Friday reversed course over whether he would report any foreign interference in a political campaign to US law enforcement, telling Fox News in an interview he would, “of course,” contact authorities.

In an interview with ABC News earlier this week, Trump had said he would accept assistance from a foreign entity looking to interfere in US politics, saying there was “nothing wrong” with it.

He also told ABC he disagreed with FBI Director Christopher Wray’s position that political campaigns should report suspicious communications from foreign governments.

“Of course, you have to look at it … but of course, you give it to the FBI or report it to the attorney general or somebody like that,” Trump told Fox on Friday. “You couldn’t have that happen with our country, and everybody understands that.”

Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr. was questioned by a US Senate committee in a closed session on Wednesday about a June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower in New York, in which a Russian lawyer had offered damaging information on Hillary Clinton, the elder Trump’s Democratic opponent in the 2016 presidential election.

The younger Trump, on learning the topic of the meeting, had written in an email: “I love it.” But people who attended the meeting said later it focused on other matters.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller looked into that meeting as part of his investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

He documented extensive contacts between Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russia, but did not establish that members of the campaign conspired with Moscow.