President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he would be willing to be interviewed under oath by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election.
“I‘m looking forward to it, actually,” Trump, speaking to reporters at the White House, said of an interview with Mueller, a former FBI director. “I would do it under oath.”
Although Trump has pledged cooperation with Mueller’s probe before, Trump made his assertion as the White House and allies in Congress have stepped up attacks on the investigation’s credibility and Trump himself has hedged on whether he would answer questions.
Trump’s attorneys have been talking to Mueller’s team about an interview, according to sources with knowledge of the investigation. “I would like to do it as soon as possible,” Trump said.
Trump said, however, that setting a date certain for an interview would be “subject to my lawyers and all of that.” Asked whether he thought Mueller would treat him fairly, Trump replied: “We’re going to find out.”
Ty Cobb, the lawyer in charge of the White House response to Mueller’s probe, said in a statement that Trump was speaking hurriedly to reporters before departing on his trip to Davos, Switzerland. Cobb said Trump emphasized that he remained committed to cooperating with the investigation and looked forward to speaking with Mueller.
Cobb said Mueller’s team and Trump’s personal lawyers were working out the arrangements for a meeting.
Sources told Reuters earlier on Wednesday that senior U.S. intelligence officers including CIA Director Mike Pompeo had been questioned by the special counsel’s team about whether Trump tried to obstruct justice in the Russia probe.
Such questioning is further indication that Mueller’s criminal investigation into purported Russian interference in the election and potential collusion by Trump’s campaign includes examining the president’s actions around the probe.
In his remarks to reporters on Wednesday, Trump repeated past statements that there was no collusion between the campaign and Russia and “there’s no obstruction whatsoever.” The Kremlin has denied conclusions by U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia interfered in the election campaign using hacking and propaganda to try to tilt the race in Trump’s favor.
Trump on Wednesday denied a Washington Post report that last year he had asked then-acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe whom he had voted for in 2016, which according to reports, left McCabe concerned about civil servants being interrogated about their political leanings.