WASHINGTON — Special counsel Robert Mueller's team of investigators has expressed interest in speaking with President Donald Trump as part of a probe into potential coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign, a person familiar with the matter said Monday.
The prospect of an interview with the president has come up in recent discussions between Mueller's team and Trump lawyers, but no details have been worked out, including the scope of questions that the president would agree to answer if an interview were to actually take place, according to the person. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity to discuss the ongoing investigation.
When or even if an interview would occur was not immediately clear, nor were the terms for the interview or whether Trump's lawyers would seek to narrow the range of questions or topics that prosecutors would cover. Trump's lawyers have previously stated their determination to cooperate with Mueller's requests.
It's not surprising that investigators would ultimately seek to interview the president given his role in several episodes under scrutiny by Mueller. Any interview of Trump would be a likely indication that the investigation was in its final stages — investigators typically look to interview main subjects in their inquiries near the end of a probe.
Mueller for months has led a team of prosecutors and agents investigating whether Russia and Trump's Republican campaign coordinated to sway the 2016 election, and whether Trump has worked to obstruct an FBI investigation into his aides, including by firing the FBI director, James Comey.
Comey has said that several months before he was dismissed, Trump told him he hoped he would end an investigation into his former national security adviser, Michael Flynn.
Mueller's team recently concluded a series of interviews with many current and former White House aides, including former chief of staff Reince Priebus and the president's son-in-law, Jared Kushner.
Four people have been charged so far, including Flynn, who pleaded guilty in December to lying to the FBI about his conversations with the Russian ambassador. Former campaign chairman Paul Manafort was indicted on charges tied to foreign lobbying work.
Peter Carr, a spokesman for Mueller, declined to comment, as did Trump lawyers John Dowd and Jay Sekulow.
Trump did not rule out the possibility of being questioned by Mueller when asked about it at a news conference Saturday. He said there had been “no collusion” and “no crime.”
“But we have been very open,” Trump said. “We could have done it two ways. We could have been very closed and it would have taken years. But you know, it's sort of like, when you've done nothing wrong, let's be open and get it over with.”
A White House spokesman pointed to a statement from White House lawyer Ty Cobb saying the White House doesn't publicly discuss its conversations with Mueller but was continuing to cooperate “in order to facilitate the earliest possible resolution.”
- Mueller team would hardly be first lawyers to question Trump
- The Comey firing, as retold by the Mueller report
- Trump on Paul Manafort pardon: 'I wouldn't take it off the table'
- New developments put Manafort back in Russia probe spotlight
- Report: Paul Manafort met with Julian Assange ahead of 2016 leaks
- Bookkeeper: Manafort didn't disclose foreign accounts to her
- Manafort accused of amassing 'secret income' as trial opens
- Trial set to begin for ex-Trump campaign chairman Manafort
- Manafort trial to shed light on Mueller probe evidence
- Judge jails ex-Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort ahead of trial
- Manafort accused of several tries to tamper with witnesses
- Robert Mueller recommends no prison for Michael Flynn, citing cooperation
- Report: Mueller team gives Trump lawyers a list of questions
- Defending Trump in Russia probe? It's hardly a dream job
- John Dowd, lead Trump lawyer in Russia probe, leaves in legal shake-up
- Kushner's security clearance may affect Mideast peace effort
- White House downgrades Kushner's security clearance
- BREAKING: 13 Russians charged with meddling to help Trump in election
- Trump calls report he ordered Mueller's firing 'fake news'
- Trump 'looking forward' to being questioned under oath
- Sessions questioned in Russia probe, Trump may be up soon
- The year of Mueller: 12 months in, here's what we've learned
- Russia probes come up against claims of executive privilege
- Trump's Clinton tweets cut against Comey firing explanation
- Trump says he isn't considering firing Mueller over emails
- Trump takes to Twitter to criticize FBI, special prosecutor
- Flynn lied to FBI, confirms cooperation with special council (UPDATED)
- Flynn may be moving to cooperate with Mueller's Russia probe
- Former Trump adviser's guilty plea could rattle White House
- With first charges, Mueller sends warning to Trump, aides
- Manafort indicted; ex-Trump aide pleads in Russia probe (UPDATED)
- Trump says any Manafort's misdeeds occurred 'years ago'
- Amid cooperation, some Trump allies urge Russia probe fight
- FBI agents searched former Trump campaign chair's home
- AP source: Mueller turns to DC grand jury in Russia probe
- Trump legal team looking to investigate Mueller aides
- Trump campaign inner circle called before Senate committees
- Mueller probe could draw focus to Russian crime operations
- In spite of tweet, lawyer says Trump not under investigation
- Trump lashes out at 'bad,' 'conflicted' Russia investigators
- AP-NORC poll: Most in US think Trump meddled in Russia probe
- Mueller: 9/11 FBI head again catapulted into new challenge
- Special counsel abruptly named to probe Trump-Russia ties
- Analysis: Trump finds Russia probe out of his control