Trump calls interview with special counsel 'unlikely'

Amid reports that special counsel Robert Mueller will soon seek to question President Trump as part of his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, Trump on Wednesday called such an interview “unlikely.”

At a joint press conference with Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg, Trump stuck to his main talking point about the investigation, that “there is no collusion” between his campaign and Russian agents.

Referencing an article in the Washington Post this week suggesting that Mueller would likely seek to question Trump in the coming weeks, Fox News’ John Roberts asked the president Wednesday if he would be open to meeting with the special counsel and, if so, whether he would set conditions for the interview.

President Donald Trump
President Trump during a news conference at the White House, Jan. 10, 2018. (Photo: Evan Vucci/AP)

Without actually answering the question, Trump responded by insisting that “there has been no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russians or Trump and Russians.” He proceeded to say the words “no collusion” several times more, bringing up Hillary Clinton, and insisting that the Russia investigation is “a Democratic hoax” designed to deflect their 2016 White House loss.

“We’ll see what happens,” Trump said, regarding a potential interview with Mueller. “When they have no collusion and nobody’s found collusion at any level, it seems unlikely that you’d have an interview.”

The president has repeatedly used the phrase “no collusion” in response to questions about the ongoing Russia investigation — 16 times in a 30-minute interview with the New York Times at his golf course in Florida late last month.

There has been growing speculation, however, that Mueller’s investigation is increasingly focused on whether Trump, or others in the administration, attempted to impede the probe, rather than on collusion as such. The president was not asked about that issue on Wednesday.

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