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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 15 December 2018

Whitehouse told Trump's closest aides to be grilled over Russia links

Former Press Secretary Sean Spicer and former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus are likely to be interviewed

Robert Mueller is investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 election. AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
Robert Mueller is investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 election. AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Special Counsel Robert Mueller has informed the White House that he’ll likely seek to interview at least four of President Donald Trump’s current and former aides as part of his investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, a person familiar with the matter said.

Mr Mueller wants to speak with communications aide Hope Hicks, former Press Secretary Sean Spicer, former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, and White House Counsel Don McGahn, the person said. The special counsel may also want to interview Josh Raffel, a spokesman for Jared Kushner, and James Burnham, an associate counsel in McGahn’s office, the person said.

A report by The Washington Post said Mr Mueller’s team will probably seek to interview six top current and former advisers to President Trump .

Mr Mueller is probing the White House’s involvement in a statement that Donald Trump Jr. issued after revelations that he met with a Russian lawyer shopping damaging information on Hillary Clinton during his father’s presidential campaign.

The person familiar with the matter asked not be identified discussing the investigation. The White House expects Mr Mueller will seek to interview other aides, and the staffers will have to obtain their own legal counsel, the person said.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said she wasn’t aware of a specific request by Mr Mueller, but said the White House won’t try to block any interviews.

“We’ve been very clear that the White House will be fully cooperative and transparent through this process,” she said at a briefing Friday.