President Donald
Trump.
Thomson
Reuters

  • President Donald Trump said Wednesday that “we’ll see
    what happens” in response to a question about whether he would
    sit down for an interview with special counsel Robert Mueller,
    who is investigation Russian election interference.
  • The comment marks a departure from what Trump said last
    June, which is that he would be “100 percent” open to
    testifying in the Russia investigation.
  • The comments come amid reports that Trump’s legal team
    is preparing a response to a possible interview request from
    Mueller’s team.

President Donald Trump said during a joint press conference with
the Norwegian prime minister on Wednesday that he would “see what
happens” if he were asked to interview with special counsel
Robert Mueller.  

Fox News White House correspondent John Roberts asked Trump about
recent reports that his legal
team is working out how to respond to Mueller’s potential request
to interview Trump as part of the investigation into Russian
interference in the 2016 election.

Mueller is also looking at whether members of the Trump campaign
colluded with Moscow to tilt the race in his favor, and whether
Trump sought to obstruct justice when he fired FBI director James
Comey last May. 

When Roberts asked Trump whether he would be open to meeting with
Mueller “without condition” or only do so under strict
limitations on the scope of questioning, Trump responded that
because there was “no collusion,” it would be “unlikely that
you’d even have an interview.”

The remarks mark a turning point from Trump’s statement last
June, when he said that he would be “100%” willing to testify under oath about his
conversations with Comey. 

Trump again put the focus on Hillary Clinton

Trump also railed against a frequent target, former Democratic
presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. After saying, without
evidence, that Clinton colluded with the Russians, Trump added,
“When you talk about interviews, Hillary Clinton had an interview
where she wasn’t sworn in, she wasn’t given the oath, they didn’t
take notes, they didn’t record and it was done on the Fourth of
July weekend.”

“That’s ridiculous,” he said, “and a lot of people looked upon
that as being a very serious breach, and it really was.”

The FBI began investigating Clinton in 2015 over her use of a
private email server to conduct government business when she
served as secretary of state. Comey said in a statement last
summer that although Clinton’s behavior had been “extremely
careless,” the bureau would not recommend criminal charges be
brought against her. 

The Department of Justice, headed by Attorney General Jeff
Sessions, reopened the investigation on January 4. 

Trump, who kicked Wednesday off by
railing against the Russia “witch hunt,” said during the press
conference that the investigation has been a “phony cloud over
this administration, over our government.”

He also called it a “Democrat hoax that was brought up as an
excuse for losing an election that, frankly, the Democrats should
have won because they have such a tremendous advantage in the
Electoral College.”

“But it has been determined that there was no collusion, and by
virtually everybody, so we’ll see what happens,” he added.

Mueller’s investigation, as well as several House and Senate
probes into Russia’s election meddling, are still ongoing and
have yielded no conclusive results. So far, four individuals in
Trump’s orbit have been charged as part of Mueller’s
investigation — former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, former
campaign adviser and longtime Manafort associate Rick Gates,
early foreign-policy adviser George Papadopoulos, and former
national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Papadopoulos and Flynn each pleaded guilty to one count of making
false statements to investigators about their Russia contacts.
Manafort and Gates pleaded not guilty to 12 counts including
money laundering, tax fraud, failing to register as foreign
agents, and conspiracy against the US. 

When he was asked whether he’d be open to sitting down with
Mueller for an interview, Trump again responded, “We’ll see what
happens.”

“I mean, certainly, I’ll see what happens,” he said. “But when
they have no collusion and nobody’s found any collusion at any
level, it seems unlikely that you’d even have an
interview.” 

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