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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 20 June 2018

Trump says he has 'absolute right to pardon' himself

The president indicated he would not do so as he had "done nothing wrong"

US President Donald J. Trump speaks during the US Coast Guard Change-of-Command Ceremony at the US Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, DC, USA, 01 June 2018. EPA/Olivier Douliery / Pool
US President Donald J. Trump speaks during the US Coast Guard Change-of-Command Ceremony at the US Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, DC, USA, 01 June 2018. EPA/Olivier Douliery / Pool

US President Donald Trump has said that he has the "absolute right" to pardon himself as the investigation into possible collusion between his campaign team and the Russian government continues.

The billionaire construction magnate took to Twitter to outline his position on a potential presidential pardon of himself as Special Counsel Robert Mueller probes whether he interfered in he investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

"As has been stated by numerous legal scholars, I have the absolute right to PARDON myself, but why would I do that when I have done nothing wrong?" he tweeted. "In the meantime, the never ending Witch Hunt, led by 13 very Angry and Conflicted Democrats (& others) continues into the mid-terms!"

Trump's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, in television interviews Sunday, suggested Trump might have that authority to pardon himself but would be unwise to use it.

Mr Giuliani told NBC's "Meet the Press": "Pardoning himself would be unthinkable and probably lead to immediate impeachment."

The former mayor of New York said the president's legal team would challenge any bid for him to testify in front of a grand jury.

In a later tweet, Trump said Mr Mueller's position was not legal in itself, reiterating that he had not acted in a way that would threaten his presidency. He misspelled the investigator's title.

"The appointment of the Special Councel is totally UNCONSTITUTIONAL! Despite that, we play the game because I, unlike the Democrats, have done nothing wrong!"

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