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Trump on possible sit-down with Mueller: 'I've always wanted to do an interview'

The Hill logo The Hill 7/18/2018 Brett Samuels
Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie © Provided by The Hill

President Trump in a new interview insisted he would still like to sit with special counsel Robert Mueller for an interview, but declined to directly answer whether he is likely to do so.

In an interview that aired Wednesday, CBS News's Jeff Glor asked Trump about whether the chances he would sit for an interview with the special counsel are better or worse than earlier in the year.

"My lawyers are working on that," Trump said. "I've always wanted to do an interview, because, look, there's been no collusion. There's been no talk of Russia."

"I call it a witch hunt. That's exactly what it is," he continued. "And you know what? It's very bad for our country."

During a press conference on Monday, Trump railed against the Mueller probe while standing next to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Trump did not condemn Putin for meddling in the U.S. election, but blasted the special counsel and questioned why more attention was not paid to Hillary Clinton's emails.

On Wednesday, Trump said he holds Putin responsible for election interference.

The president has previously said on the record that he would be willing to talk with Mueller for his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. However, his most recent statement on the matter came in March.

"Yes. I would like to," Trump told reporters at the time.

However, his legal team has been significantly overhauled in the time since those comments. On the same day Trump said he'd like to speak with Mueller, attorney John Dowd resigned. Attorney Ty Cobb has also since departed.

Meanwhile, Trump has brought on former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Emmet Flood, who represented former President Bill Clinton in his impeachment proceedings.

Giuliani has repeatedly cast doubt on the chances Trump will sit for an interview, while insisting that the president would like to cooperate with Mueller.

Giuliani said last week that an interview is "probably further away" than before following testimony from FBI agent Peter Strzok.

Trump has repeatedly railed against the Mueller probe as a "witch hunt" and a "hoax." Earlier this week, he blamed the investigation, in part, for souring relations with Russia.

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.

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