Giuliani: Mueller needs to prove Trump committed crime before agreeing to interview

Giuliani: Mueller needs to prove Trump committed crime before agreeing to interview
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpReporters defend CNN's Acosta after White House says he 'disrespected' Trump with question Security costs of Trump visit to Scotland sparks outrage among Scottish citizens Ex-CIA officer: Prosecution of Russians indicted for DNC hack 'ain't ever going to happen' MORE’s attorney Rudy Giuliani said Friday that Trump will only agree to an interview with special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE if the special counsel has evidence that Trump committed a crime and that the president’s testimony is needed to complete the probe.

Giuliani told The New York Times that it is still possible that Trump could agree to interview with Mueller, but said that the likelihood that the president would agree to a voluntary interview is growing less likely.

“If they can come to us and show us the basis and that it’s legitimate and that they have uncovered something, we can go from there and assess their objectivity,” Giuliani told the newspaper.

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Trump’s legal team also wants proof that Mueller sought every other alternative to find answers before interviewing Trump, and that the president is the only person who could provide them with the necessary information, according to The Times.

Additionally, the lawyers want Mueller to explain why he is able to investigate possible obstruction of justice by Trump in a probe initially launched to investigate Russian election interference.

Trump's lawyers have been negotiating with Mueller's team for months on the terms of a potential interview between the president and the special counsel, with the president's legal team publicly issuing a series of demands for such an interview.

Giuliani said in early June that Trump would refuse to sit down for an interview unless he first saw documents pertaining to the FBI's use of an informant during the 2016 campaign. The lawyer had previously said the White House simply wanted a briefing on information shared with lawmakers.

And later in June, Giuliani said that for him, an interview with the special counsel was "off the table" until certain demands were met.

"It's never off the table for the president, because he feels he's done nothing wrong, which he hasn't, and he wants to explain himself," Giuliani told The Hill's "Rising" program. "For me as his lawyer it's off the table until they can show me what happened."

Giuliani told The Times on Friday that Trump's legal team is also now pushing back against Mueller's request to interview White House chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE, demanding to know what the questioning would include.

“That’s the new position. If they had made the request eight months ago, they would have said yes because they thought there was a group of people on Mueller’s team who had an open mind and were objective,” Giuliani told the newspaper's of Trump's past attorneys.

The lawyer argued that public opinion is swaying toward Trump "big time" over the probe, referring to his claims that the investigation has been biased against Trump.

“Nobody is going to consider impeachment if public opinion has concluded this is an unfair investigation, and that’s why public opinion is so important,” Giuliani told The Times.

Updated: 9:20 p.m.