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Sally Yates: If Trump doesn’t talk to Mueller he doesn’t have ‘moral authority to lead’

Sally Yates: If Trump doesn’t talk to Mueller he doesn’t have ‘moral authority to lead’

Former acting Attorney General Sally YatesSally Caroline YatesThe Hill's Morning Report — Where the Kavanaugh nomination stands Hillicon Valley: 50M affected by Facebook hack | Google CEO to testify on Capitol Hill | Tesla shares slump after SEC sues | House Intel votes to release Russia probe transcripts | Dem holds up passage of key intel bill House Intel votes to release Russia transcripts MORE said on Friday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: 'I don't trust everybody in the White House' JPMorgan CEO withdraws from Saudi conference Trump defends family separations at border MORE would be indicating a lack of "moral authority" if he refused to sit for an interview with special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE

"I don't understand how he would have the moral authority to lead this country if he didn't answer those questions," Yates said at a conference in New York, according to The Associated Press

Mueller's team of investigators have been trying to negotiate an interview with the president for months, though it remains unclear if such a sit-down will come to pass.

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Trump has personally expressed a desire to speak with Mueller and his team. John Dowd, a personal attorney for Trump who resigned in March, had advised the president not to sit for an interview with investigators.

Since Dowd's departure, Trump's legal team has not indicated whether the president will be interviewed by the special counsel.

NBC News reported Thursday that Mueller's team is preparing to move forward without its Trump interview following the FBI raids Monday on the office, home and hotel room of Michael Cohen, one of Trump's personal attorneys.

Mueller is investigating Russia's role in the 2016 presidential election and whether members of the Trump campaign conspired with Moscow to disrupt and influence the race. 

Yates served briefly as the acting attorney general shortly after Trump took office last year, but was fired after she declined to defend the president's controversial executive order barring citizens of several Muslim-majority countries from traveling to the U.S.