President tells CBS News he is looking forward to talking to special counsel investigating collusion with the Russians
Trump says that he ‘always wanted’ interview by Robert Mueller
US President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that he has “always wanted” to be interviewed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller but deflected questions about whether he would do so by responding that his lawyers are addressing the issue.
“My lawyers are working on that,” Mr Trump said in an interview with CBS News. “I’ve always wanted to do an interview, because, look, there’s been no collusion. There’s been no talk of Russia.”
Mr Trump has long maintained that he would be willing to testify as part of the investigation into possible collusion between his campaign and Russia, but his lawyers are thought to be concerned that doing so could leave the president vulnerable to perjury accusations if any of his testimony proved inaccurate.
Mr Mueller’s team warned the president’s lawyers this spring that it may use a grand jury subpoena to compel his testimony, according to a report earlier this week in the Los Angeles Times.
Mr Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, told The Washington Post in June that he expects the president’s legal team to make a decision this month on whether to sit for an interview.
In a separate interview to Bloomberg News, Mr Giuliani said that the president’s legal team would be examining whether they believed the investigation should even exist because of the possibility that the probe was politically motivated.
“We are assessing the fact as to whether or not there should even be an investigation at this point,” Mr Giuliani said, asserting that a Justice Department inspector-general's report showed the investigation had been tainted by “tremendous amount of bias on the part of the agents involved.”
The report concluded that there was no evidence that political bias “directly affected the specific investigative actions” reviewed, while pointing out text messages exchanged between two FBI employees who worked on Mr Mueller’s probe had been sharply critical of the president. Mr Mueller removed one employee from the investigation after the texts were discovered, and the other left the bureau.
Still, Mr Trump highlighted the behaviour in the CBS interview on Wednesday, saying that he believed US intelligence agencies were out to get him “in the past.”
“I certainly don’t have confidence in past people,” Mr Trump said. “You look at what’s happened. Take a look at all of the shenanigans that have gone on. Very hard to have confidence in that group.”