it just scrolls whatever relevant commands and exits at “aborted”
Sounds like dnf is being run in a batch or remote context that does not have a tty. When we use dnf at a console, we like the interactive questions, but when interaction isn’t possible you can change the command to “dnf -y”. The y option tells it to proceed as if you’d assented to any question that might come up.
Another possible way this could happen would be if you happen to type an extra enterbefore dnf reaches the prompt. If you for example happen to hit enter twice by mistake when you issue the command. The second enter will wait there until dnf reads input. The effect will be an extra empty line early in the output which you might easily miss, and then dnf will abort immediately after it writes its prompt as you describe.