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Trump thinks he can convince Mueller team that Russia probe is a witch hunt: report

Trump thinks he can convince Mueller team that Russia probe is a witch hunt: report
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Guardian slams Trump over comments about assault on reporter Five takeaways from the first North Dakota Senate debate Watchdog org: Tillerson used million in taxpayer funds to fly throughout US MORE reportedly believes that he can convince special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE’s team that Mueller's Russia investigation is a “witch hunt,” The New York Times reported this week.

Trump is urging his legal team to allow him to have a sit-down interview with Mueller in an effort to clear himself of any wrongdoing, according to the Times's sources.

Three people briefed on the matter told the newspaper that Trump believes he can convince Mueller’s investigators that their own inquiry is a deliberate attack against him.

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Trump’s lawyers are reportedly against the idea and have been negotiating the terms of a potential interview for several months.

The special counsel’s office declined to comment to the Times.

The Times, The Washington Post and The Associated Press all reported this week that Mueller has agreed to place some limitations on the types of questions he would ask during a potential interview. 

Mueller has reportedly said he would be willing to accept some of the president’s answers to questions in writing but the topics for the questions remain the same — including some about possible obstruction of justice and possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Trump’s legal team in the Justice Department probe has reportedly refused to agree to risky follow-up interviews, the Times said.

The special counsel reportedly told Trump's attorneys that he would subpoena the president to testify before a grand jury if he did not agree to an interview.

Trump's lead lawyer in the probe, Rudy Giuliani, said in response that Trump would not have to comply with a subpoena as president, a claim which legal experts have been debating.

On Thursday, Giuliani said that the legal team will decide within the next 10 days whether the interview with Mueller will happen.

Trump often lashes out at Mueller's investigation on Twitter, accusing Mueller of having “conflicts of interest” in his investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Trump attacked Mueller’s credibility and alleged conflicts of interest on Sunday. He claimed he previously had a “very nasty and contentious business relationship" with him.

Trump on Wednesday said Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsRosenstein to appear for House interview next week Emmet Flood steps in as White House counsel following McGahn departure McGahn departs as White House counsel MORE should shut down the probe “right now,” although the White House later said the tweet was Trump’s opinion and not an official order.