Trump: Interview with Mueller ‘seems unlikely’
President Donald Trump said Wednesday that it “seems unlikely” that he’d give an interview in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into potential coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign.
Trump said “we’ll see what happens” when asked if he’d provide an interview to Mueller’s team.
“When they have no collusion and nobody’s found any collusion at any level, it seems unlikely that you’d even have an interview,” Trump said during a joint news conference with the prime minister of Norway.
The special counsel’s team of investigators has expressed interest in speaking with Trump, but no details have been worked out. Trump’s lawyers have previously stated their determination to cooperate with requests in the probe, which has already resulted in charges against four of Trump’s campaign advisers.
Trump called the investigation a “phony cloud” over his administration.
“It has hurt our government,” he said. “It was a Democrat hoax.”
The comments come after Trump had already lashed out at the investigations on Twitter on Wednesday morning, urging Republicans to take control of the inquiries and repeating his claim that they are on a “witch hunt.”
“There was no collusion, everybody including the Dems knows there was no collusion, & yet on and on it goes,” he tweeted. “Russia & the world is laughing at the stupidity they are witnessing. Republicans should finally take control!”
In a separate tweet Wednesday morning, Trump accused Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of being “underhanded and a disgrace” for disclosing details of a dossier of allegations about his ties to Russia during the presidential campaign.
A day earlier, Feinstein, who faces a primary challenge in her re-election this year, released the transcript of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s closed-door August interview with an official from the political opposition research firm Fusion GPS, which commissioned the dossier. She released the transcript of Glenn Simpson’s interview over the objections of the committee’s Republican chairman, Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley. She is the top Democrat on the panel.
“The fact that Sneaky Dianne Feinstein, who has on numerous occasions stated that collusion between Trump/Russia has not been found, would release testimony in such an underhanded and possibly illegal way, totally without authorization, is a disgrace,” Trump tweeted. “Must have tough Primary!”
The material wasn’t classified, and Feinstein said Wednesday that she didn’t do anything illegal. And as the top Democrat on the committee, she didn’t need authorization from Grassley to release it. Her staff helped conduct the interview with Simpson, who also had asked for the interview to be released.
Still, the release was a blow to the two lawmakers’ earlier attempts at bipartisanship on the committee’s Russia investigation. Feinstein told reporters that she didn’t tell Grassley beforehand, and “I owe him an apology and I will give him an apology as soon as I see him.”
Grassley said in an angry news release Tuesday that he was “confounded” by the release and argued that it could undermine attempts to get additional witnesses. By Wednesday, he appeared to have softened, saying he was continuing to negotiate witnesses with Feinstein in the Russia probe.