Trump says he could meet Russia investigation special counsel ‘under certain circumstances’
“I think that if we’re going to meet it’s got to be a fair meeting,” Trump told reporters on board Air Force One. “I don’t want to be set up with a perjury trap.”
US Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating widespread claims that Trump colluded with Russia to get an edge over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election, has previously offered to allow Trump to answer his questions in writing. Recently, however, Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani told Reuters that Mueller has been insisting that written answers would have to be followed up with a personal interview.
Mueller is expected to produce a report on his investigation, which so far has failed to produce definitive evidence that Trump was helped to the White House by the Russians, in the coming weeks. The paper is being anticipated both by Trump's opponents and his legal team, which, according to Giuliani, is preparing a counter-report to question the legitimacy of Mueller's investigation.
Mueller's probe, which has come to be known as “Russiagate,” has been around almost as long as Trump has been president. He has charged a number of people with various offenses, including interference in US elections, but none with colluding with Russia.
In February, he indicted 13 Russians who supposedly used fake social media accounts and ads to push an anti-Hillary agenda. The probe's opponents slammed it as judicial overreach, and Trump himself has long been calling the entire investigation a “witch hunt.”
The investigation has cost the US taxpayer at least $17 million, as of early summer numbers.
Democrats have been gearing up to the day when Trump fires Mueller, with reports in liberal media regularly suggesting that the president is either about to, or has been narrowly talked out of doing so. While Trump has the legal power to, and has said he feels he has the full right sack the special counsel, the probe continues and Mueller is still at its helm.