On Monday night, Rudy Giuliani told Bloomberg that he indicated to special counsel Robert Mueller that President Trump would agree to an interview if questions were focused only on whether his campaign colluded with Russia in the 2016 election.
Giuliani also said that the interview would only proceed if questions about obstruction of justice were excluded. That’s because the president’s legal team is concerned that Mueller might believe witnesses who contradicted Trump’s account, such as former FBI Director James Comey, which could leave the president vulnerable to a perjury charge, Giuliani added.
Mueller has not yet responded to Giuliani’s proposal, Bloomberg reported.
Previously, the president said on the record that he would be willing to talk with Mueller for his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. In an interview with CBS News last week, Trump reiterated that he’s “always wanted to do an interview, because, look, there’s been no collusion.”
However, he said his lawyers were responsible for working out such an interview. Giuliani, meanwhile, has repeatedly cast doubt on the chances Trump will sit for an interview. He said earlier this month that an interview is “probably further away” than before following congressional testimony from FBI agent Peter Strzok, who was removed from Mueller’s probe after he was found to have sent texts critical of Trump during the 2016 election.
Trump has repeatedly criticized the inquiry as a “witch hunt” and over the weekend, he used the release of a surveillance application on an adviser during his campaign to renew his claims of a “rigged” FBI investigation.
Mueller has thus far filed charges against more than 20 Russian nationals, including 12 Russian intelligence officials, for allegedly interfering in the 2016 election. He has also obtained guilty pleas or indictments against four former Trump associates thus far.