Mueller asking witnesses about hacked Democratic emails: report

Investigators for special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerTrump says he'll release financial records before election, knocks Dems' efforts House impeachment hearings: The witch hunt continues Speier says impeachment inquiry shows 'very strong case of bribery' by Trump MORE have asked witnesses in their probe about President TrumpDonald John TrumpRepublicans consider skipping witnesses in Trump impeachment trial Bombshell Afghanistan report bolsters calls for end to 'forever wars' Lawmakers dismiss Chinese retaliatory threat to US tech MORE’s connection to Democratic emails that were hacked and leaked leading up to the 2016 election, NBC News reported Wednesday.

Mueller’s team has reportedly focused on whether Trump was aware of plans for WikiLeaks to publish emails from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and members of Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump trade deal likely to sow division in Democratic presidential field Trump supporters at Pa. rally 'upset' after Democrats introduce impeachment articles Hillary Clinton documentary to premiere at Sundance MORE’s campaign, or if Trump was involved in the emails’ release.

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Investigators have also honed in on Trump’s relationship with Republican operative Roger StoneRoger Jason StoneDOJ backs ex-Trump campaign aide Richard Gates's probation request Schiff says investigators seeking to identify who Giuliani spoke to on unlisted '-1' number What if impeachment fails? MORE, an informal adviser during the 2016 campaign. They have reportedly asked witnesses about Stone’s connections to WikiLeaks, and if he’s met the site’s founder, Julian Assange. 

Stone told NBC in a statement that he has not been interviewed by the special counsel and “never discussed WikiLeaks, Assange or the Hillary disclosures with candidate Trump, before during or after the election.”

The lines of questioning come as Mueller probes Moscow's meddling in the 2016 presidential election, including ties between Trump campaign associates and Russia.

In March 2016, Russians successfully hacked Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s email account. WikiLeaks later released stolen emails from the DNC as well as emails from Podesta himself in the months leading up to the 2016 election.

Seizing on the controversy, Trump declared “I love WikiLeaks” at a campaign rally while he read some of the leaked messages. 

According to NBC, investigators are also interested in Trump’s comments on the campaign trail about emails then-opponent Clinton deleted from the private email server she used while secretary of State

"Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing," Trump said during the July 2016 press conference.

The White House later said Trump was joking when he made those comments.

Trump has repeatedly declared the federal Russia probe a “witch hunt” and has denied any collusion between his campaign and Russia.

Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn and former campaign associates George PapadopoulosGeorge Demetrios PapadopoulosTrump can't cry foul on FISA – unless he's suddenly a civil libertarian Misfired 'Hurricane': Comey's team abused Carter Page and the FBI Former FBI general counsel wants apology from Trump MORE and Richard Gates have pleaded guilty to charges brought as part of Mueller's investigation.

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortDOJ backs ex-Trump campaign aide Richard Gates's probation request Former FBI general counsel wants apology from Trump The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - Democrats to release articles of impeachment today MORE is also facing numerous charges for alleged financial crimes relating to his work as a political agent in Ukraine.

Mueller also filed charges earlier this month against 13 Russian nationals and three Russian organizations for alleged interference in the 2016 race.

Updated: 3:23 p.m.