Published: Sat, March 10, 2018
Global Media | By Jackie Banks

Trump asked two Mueller witnesses what they talked about

Trump asked two Mueller witnesses what they talked about

While the conversations with the two - White House counsel Don McGahn and former chief of staff Reince Priebus - likely did not amount to witness tampering, experts told the Times, they are potentially problematic.

At far right is Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, with White House counsel Donald McGahn, second from right.

The President's team has raised the idea of an interview with Trump to determine if they are close to an ending for the President's part in the Russian Federation probe, according to one of the sources. The lawyers believe Mueller will mostly focus on whether Trump obstructed justice by firing ex-FBI Director James Comey, who was actively overseeing an investigation into the Trump campaign's ties to Russian Federation when he was booted. But Mueller has since reached plea deals with several people close to Trump's former campaign, including Flynn, former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and former campaign aide Rick Gates.

The president said he had never ordered Mr. McGahn to fire the special counsel.

McGahn is a critical witness in the Russian Federation investigation. He told the White House counsel that said Mr Trump wanted him to issue a statement denying the reports, and that he would "get rid" of him if he didn't.

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Trump's legal team expects much of the questioning to involve the firing of former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey, which prompted Mueller's appointment by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein a year ago, as well as the dismissal of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, according to The Journal. However, McGahn did not dispute the allegation publicly.

Meanwhile, Mariotti wrote on Wednesday, Trump's question to Priebus about whether investigators had been "nice" to him "could suggest that he's concerned about being interviewed in the investigation".

The encounter is just one example of the president ignoring the advice of his attorneys and asking witnesses about their interviews with the special counsel's team regarding the ongoing probe.

Trump had previously stated that he would be "love" to answer questions from the special counsel and would be prepared to do so under oath.

The special counsel's investigation is now one of several probes looking into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and whether Trump campaign associates have any ties with Russians.

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