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
© Getty

President TrumpDonald John TrumpSchiff blasts Trump for making 'false claims' about Russia intel: 'You've betrayed America. Again.' Poll: Sanders leads 2020 Democratic field with 28 percent, followed by Warren and Biden More than 6 in 10 expect Trump to be reelected: poll MORE reportedly believes that he can convince special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan 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 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.

ADVERTISEMENT

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 SessionsOn the Trail: Senate GOP hopefuls tie themselves to Trump Trump looms as flashpoint in Alabama Senate battle Trump tweets test Attorney General Barr 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.