Trump says he has written answers to questions in Mueller probe

Trump says he has written answers to questions in Mueller probe

Kerry Wise
November 19, 2018

President Donald Trump said Friday that he has answered written questions from special counsel Robert Mueller but hasn't yet submitted them.

Trump said that he just finished the questions but had not actually submitted them to the special counsel's office.

Mr Trump also suggested the people who wrote the questions he agreed to answer "probably have bad intentions". Though the president at one point said he would be willing to speak with Mueller, he eventually reneged on his offer on the advice of lawyers, who fear he will not be able to deal with prolonged questioning.

Mr. Trump insisted he was "not agitated" by the probe into alleged Trump campaign collusion with Russian Federation, despite a storm of tweets Thursday slamming Mr. Mueller and calling the probe "a hoax".

During months of back-and-forth negotiations with the special counsel office, Mr. Trump's lawyers have repeatedly counseled the president against sitting down for an in-person interview.

President Donald Trump said he would deliver his written answers to special counsel Robert Mueller next week. "My lawyers don't write answers, I write answers", he said.

The president's remarks were fresh evidence of his return to the ominous rhythms of the Russian Federation probe after spending weeks enjoying adulation at campaign rallies before the midterm elections.

Adding to his grim outlook has been a barrage of criticism over his choice for acting attorney general and late-arriving election results that have largely been tipping towards House Democrats.

Earlier this week, Trump attacked Mueller's team in a series of tweets, accusing them of "threatening" people to cooperate in the investigation.

U.S. President Donald Trump talks to the media on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington U.S. before his departure to California

Rumors are reverberating that Mueller may be preparing more indictments and there has been widespread media coverage of two Trump allies - Roger Stone and Jerome Corsi - who say they expect to be charged.

A list of questions provided to Trump's legal team in the spring by the special counsel included questions about efforts during the transition to establish a backchannel line of communication to Russian Federation and a 2017 meeting in the Seychelles involving Trump ally Erik Prince, a businessman and founder of the private security company formerly known as Blackwater.

Recently ousted Attorney General Jeff Sessions had recused himself from overseeing Mueller because he had worked on Trump's Republican campaign - a decision that infuriated Trump and led to Sessions resigning at the president's request.

Trump stressed that he has been "busy" and that it has taken some time to complete the answers, but he also expressed his concern about Mueller's goal in obtaining them. The special counsel position does not require confirmation, and the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director was confirmed for that previous job.

But the tight-lipped Mueller has not given any sign of whether Trump is regarded more as a witness or a target of the investigation. He has undertaken an unlikely public relations tour as he looks to make a deal to reduce his prison sentence.

Focus on the midterm elections meant the Mueller probe dropped out of the headlines in recent weeks.

- And the White House is hurriedly stepping up efforts to prepare for a series of investigations certain to be launched by Democrats once they take control of the House in January. "We are the envy of the world".

"We do that next week", he said, in what signals a new phase of the inquiry.

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