Sources: Trump Eager To Answer Mueller's Questions To Clear His Name


The big question concerning whether President Donald Trump will sit down for an interview with Department of Justice special counsel Robert Mueller remains unanswered this week.

However, new reports shed light on the thought process of key figures on both sides of the probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

Trump, who has continued to call the investigation a “witch hunt” in tweets as recently as this week, is eager to shut it down and, according to sources cited in a New York Times article published Wednesday, sees an interview with Mueller as a way to clear his name. The president’s lawyers have advised him against it.

The Times cited multiple sources familiar with the situation who said Trump remained adamant about answering questions this week after Mueller submitted a range of topics he would like to address.

In a letter delivered on Tuesday, the special counsel’s office agreed to cut some of the questions that were contained in its initial list of 49, according to Fox News.

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While Mueller has agreed to allow some of the remaining questions to be answered in writing, The Times reported that sources say he still wants in-person responses to other inquiries.

He has also reportedly refused efforts by the president’s lawyers to limit the topics of his questions to collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives.

In responding to the development, Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani would not confirm whether his client would sit down for an interview.

“We’re in the process of responding to their proposal,” he said.

Should Trump agree to an interview with Mueller?

Sources told The Times that Trump’s lawyers disagree with the president’s assessment that an interview would wrap up the extensive Justice Department probe. Trump’s legal team is concerned that Mueller’s questioning has the potential to put Trump in both political and legal jeopardy.

As the negotiations drag on, Trump and Giuliani continue their media offensive against a probe they routinely dismiss as unfounded and politically motivated.

In a tweet on Wednesday, the president once again challenged the basis of the investigation.

“Russian Collusion with the Trump Campaign, one of the most successful in history, is a TOTAL HOAX,” he wrote. “The Democrats paid for the phony and discredited Dossier which was, along with Comey, McCabe, Strzok and his lover, the lovely Lisa Page, used to begin the Witch Hunt. Disgraceful!”

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Earlier the same morning, Trump ended a string of tweets by openly encouraging Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has recused himself from the case, to end the investigation.

“This is a terrible situation and Attorney General Jeff Sessions should stop this Rigged Witch Hunt right now, before it continues to stain our country any further,” he wrote.

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Chris Agee is an American journalist with more than 15 years of experience in a wide range of newsrooms.
Chris Agee is an American journalist with more than 15 years of experience in a variety of newsroom settings. After covering crime and other beats for newspapers and radio stations across the U.S., he served as managing editor at Western Journalism until 2017. He has also been a regular guest and guest host on several syndicated radio programs. He lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with his wife and son.
Texas Press Association, Best News Writing - 2012
Bachelor of Arts, Journalism - Averett University
Professional Memberships
Online News Association
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment