Former independent counsel Ken Starr said on Saturday that he understands the reluctance of President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocrat calls on White House to withdraw ambassador to Belarus nominee TikTok collected data from mobile devices to track Android users: report Peterson wins Minnesota House primary in crucial swing district MORE's attorneys to grant special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE's team an interview with the president. 

But the president may have an obligation to move forward with the interview anyway, Starr said in an interview on Fox News. 

"You hear the criminal defense lawyers — and I understand the perspective fully — [say] he shouldn't go to sit down with Bob Mueller," Starr, who carried out the investigation into former President Clinton, said.


"But he is the president of the United States and so I think there's a certain, needless to say, obligation that attaches to that," he added. 

Starr told Fox News it was "perfectly reasonable" for Trump's lawyers to seek to limit the scope of Mueller's questions for the president, saying that any probe involving the president would require negotiations.

"There's going to be a back-and-forth, especially what's the scope of the inquiry," Starr said. 

Mueller's team has sought in recent months to negotiate the terms of a possible interview with Trump. Investigators have cast the interview as necessary to determine whether the president tried to obstruct the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. 

Trump's lawyers, however, have been hesitant to grant such an interview out of concern that prosecutors could seek to use the president's own words against him. 

The question of whether Trump's legal team will grant investigators the interview has raised speculation that Mueller could seek to subpoena Trump — a route taken by Starr as he sought an interview with Clinton in 1998.

Starr eventually withdrew that subpoena after Clinton agreed to voluntarily submit to questioning, though he was allowed to have his lawyers by his side, an unusual concession for grand jury testimonies.