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Photo: Lou Rocco/Walt Disney Television

President Trump said "there isn't anything wrong with listening" to intelligence on political opponents gathered by foreign nations revealed Wednesday during an exclusive interview with ABC News's George Stephanopoulos.

"It's not an interference, they have information -- I think I'd take it," Trump said. "If I thought there was something wrong, I'd go maybe to the FBI -- if I thought there was something wrong. But when somebody comes up with oppo research, right, they come up with oppo research, 'oh let's call the FBI.' The FBI doesn't have enough agents to take care of it. When you go and talk, honestly, to congressman, they all do it, they always have, and that's the way it is. It's called oppo research."
— President Trump to ABC's George Stephanopoulos
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

What he's saying: Trump also called FBI director Christopher Wray "wrong" for instructing politicians to contact law enforcement agency, "because frankly, it doesn't happen like that in life." Trump also said he has "seen a lot of things..." but "you don't call the FBI."

Context: Trump's comments come despite ongoing investigations surrounding his 2016 campaign's dealings with Russian operatives.

Between the lines: The interview with ABC deviates from Trump's typical behavior, demonizing the "fake news," and primarily praising Fox News, per Politico, adding this is his first network interview in more than 4 months. ABC reportedly requested the interview some time ago. Trump accepted nearly 1 week before he formally launches his re-election bid in Florida.

Go deeper... Trump: "I had nothing to do with Russia helping me to get elected"

Go deeper

Pelosi calls raising the debt ceiling a bipartisan responsibility

Photo: Samuel Corum/Bloomberg via Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) issued a "dear colleague" statement Sunday evening, calling on Congress to act in a bipartisan manner to raise the nation's debt ceiling.

Why it matters: Congress is fast approaching an October deadline to raise the nation's debt ceiling and avoid a government shutdown. But the issue has become a thorny partisan stand-off.

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Beto not even best Dem against Abbott

Beto O'Rourke speaks at a rally at the Texas State Capitol in June. Photo: Sergio Flores/Getty Images

Actor Matthew McConaughey’s nine-point lead in a theoretical matchup against Greg Abbott shows just how vulnerable the hard-right Texas governor could be in a general election.

Why it matters: Abbott has won conservative accolades for his abortion, mask and vaccine bans. Axios reported Sunday that former Rep. Beto O’Rourke is preparing to announce a gubernatorial challenge — but a recent poll shows he’s not even the most popular Democrat in the state.

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Delayed maps upend midterm campaigns

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Midterm candidates are panicking about how the congressional maps will ultimately be drawn, with several strategists telling Axios campaigns are in limbo.

Why it matters: Candidates are unsure if the district they're targeting will remain intact or be reshaped by the process. The uncertainty is especially vexing to Democrats, who are vying to maintain their narrow margin in the House.

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