Trump Asked 2 People About Their Interviews With Mueller

Cheryl Sanders
March 9, 2018

Apparently, President Donald Trump has a lot of questions for people who have been interviewed by the special counsel's investigators, according to a new report published by The New Times.

A White House source tells CNN's Jim Acosta that Kelly and other White House staffers have warned Trump regularly to not talk with Mueller witnesses about their testimony, as it could constitute witness tampering.

In another conversation, Trump grilled his former chief of staff, Reince Priebus, about his interview with Mueller's team. Witnesses and lawyers who learned of the two conversations told Mueller, who is also investigating whether Trump attempted to obstruct the investigation, about them; the legal experts say Mueller will likely now direct an increased focus toward Trump's interactions with witnesses in the investigation, and that the conversations with McGahn and Priebus could be used as evidence in a possible obstruction case.

Mueller is investigating potential collusion between Trump's winning 2016 presidential campaign and Russian Federation, along with "any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation".

The New York Times was first to report the interactions between Trump and members of his team, including Priebus and White House counsel Donald F. McGahn II.

But it also highlights the mounting tensions between Trump and McGahn, whose job as White House counsel has grown increasingly untenable as the Russian Federation investigation has snowballed. And Trump told White House officials after Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the investigation that he needed someone running the Justice Department who would protect him.

Because the president is already being investigated for possible obstruction of justice in the Russian Federation probe, and talking to witnesses who are talking to the special counsel could be seen as witness tampering.

The Times reported in late January that Trump once sought to have McGahn fire Mueller, but ultimately backed away from that demand after McGahn threatened to quit. The President told McGahn that he did not remember the discussion that way. CBS News has also requested a comment from the White House. McGahn told Trump he most certainly had told him to fire Mueller.

U.S. President Donald Trump meets with bi-partisan members of Congress to discuss school and community safety in the wake of the Florida school shootings at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 28, 2018.

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