Trump willing to be questioned ‘under oath’
President Donald Trump said on Jan. 24 he “would love to” be questioned under oath by Russia collusion prosecutor Robert Mueller, adding it could happen in the coming weeks.
Trump confirmed that his lawyers were in discussion with Mueller, who is leading the investigation into allegations of collusion between the US president’s campaign and Russia in the 2016 election, and also into accusations that Trump tried to obstruct his probe.
“I would love to do it,” Trump told reporters in the White House when asked about testifying.
“I would like to do it as soon as possible... subject to my lawyers and all of that.”
“I would do it under oath, absolutely,” he added.
Asked when an interview could happen, Trump replied that he didn’t know exactly.
“Yesterday, they were talking about two or three weeks,” he said.
It was the first time Trump said directly that he would cooperate with Mueller, whose investigation he has repeatedly dismissed as being based on “fake news.”
“There has been no collusion whatsoever. There is no obstruction whatsoever,” he said on Jan. 24. But any interview of a U.S. president in an investigation is fraught with issues of executive privilege - how much and in what context the U.S. leader can be forced to disclose information. In Trump’s case, it also raises deep concerns that his shoot-from-the-hip outspokenness could jeopardize his own legal position.
White House lawyer Ty Cobb later seemed to walk back Trump’s remarks, saying the president just meant that he was willing to meet, The New York Times reported.
“He’s ready to meet with them, but he’ll be guided by the advice of his personal counsel,” the newspaper quoted Cobb as saying.
Cobb has repeatedly said that the president is willing to testify to Mueller’s investigation, and wants Mueller to wind up the case as early as possible.