World News

Mueller Spoke to Trump's Lawyers About Interviewing Him in Russia Probe

Mueller Spoke to Trump's Lawyers About Interviewing Him in Russia Probe

Mr Mueller has been appointed by the Justice Department to investigate claims of Russian meddling in the November 2016 election and possible collusion with President Trump's campaign.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller personally attended a meeting last month with President Donald Trump's lawyers to discuss the ongoing Russian Federation investigation during which the special counsel raised the possibility that his office may need to speak to the president, according to a source with direct knowledge of the conversation.

Following a week in which Trump bragged on Twitter about the size of his nuclear button and faced allegations in a new book that his close aides and family doubt his competency and grip on reality, the president also said the Mueller investigation was harming America's reputation.

He said Trump claims he "was listening to his lawyers", but if he really was, then "there's lots and lots of stuff that he would not have done, said, tweeted".

In a July interview with the New York Times, Trump said: "Well, Sessions should have never recused himself, and if he was going to recuse himself, he should have told me before he took the job, and I would have picked somebody else". Comey was overseeing the Russian Federation investigation at the time, and Trump told NBC's Lester Holt that "this Russian Federation thing" had been a factor in his decision.

"The odds of prosecutors agreeing to written responses are somewhere between infinitesimally small and zero", Chuck Rosenberg, former US attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia and former chief of staff to fired FBI Director James Comey, said.

The meeting last December was not Mueller's first with Trump's legal team - and according to one source with knowledge of the discussions it won't be the last.

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Indeed, NBC News reported that after Trump's involvement in drafting the initial statement emerged, prosecutors on Mueller's team were "keenly focused" on finding out what Trump knew about the meeting and whether he tried to hide its objective.

"We've seen Donald Trump in litigation in the past", he explained.

Trump told reporters at Camp David that The New York Times story first reporting the request was "way off, or at least off", - though he wouldn't say how. Russian Federation has denied any meddling, and Mr Trump has said there was no collusion.

"He said he wants to talk to the special counsel's office".

"If you try to corruptly persuade a witness to testify falsely, that is a separate offense", he told Business Insider in September. But the latest round of interviews appears to mark a new phase of the investigation - hauling in current administration officials for daylong depositions. That information can be in the form of statements by others they interviewed or press accounts.

He added that the statement by itself does not prove obstruction, and that it is unclear whether Trump meant to mislead the public and obstruct the investigation, or to avoid embarrassment.

"There was no collusion between us and the Russians", he said.


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