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Trump Pushes for Interview With Mueller Against Lawyers’ Advice

Trump Pushes for Interview With Mueller Against Lawyers’ Advice

WASHINGTON — President Trump pushed his lawyers in recent days to try once again to reach an agreement with the special counsel’s office about him sitting for an interview, flouting their advice that he should not answer investigators’ questions, three people briefed on the matter said on Wednesday.Mr. Trump has told advisers he is eager…


WASHINGTON — President Trump pushed his lawyers in recent days to try once again to reach an agreement with the special counsel’s office about him sitting for an interview, flouting their advice that he should not answer investigators’ questions, three people briefed on the matter said on Wednesday.

Mr. Trump has told advisers he is eager to meet with investigators to clear himself of wrongdoing, the people said. In effect, he believes he can convince the investigators for the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, of his belief that their own inquiry is a “witch hunt.”

Mr. Mueller, whose team has negotiated the parameters of an interview with Mr. Trump’s lawyers for eight months, sent his latest proposal in a letter on Tuesday night, the three people said. Investigators stood firm on the scope of and topics for their questions for Mr. Trump: possible coordination between his associates and Russia’s election interference and whether he tried to obstruct the investigation.

They did shift slightly on format, agreeing to accept some written answers, including matters in which they want to preserve the ability to have Mr. Trump answer follow-ups in person. In doing so, they firmed up a previously expressed willingness to allow certain answers in writing.

the money fraud trial of his former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, and the release last week of a recording on which he and Mr. Cohen are heard discussing hush money payments during the campaign to a former Playboy model who says she had an affair with Mr. Trump. He denies the affair.

On Wednesday morning, those frustrations burst into public view. Mr. Trump fired off a string of tweets, including a call for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to end Mr. Mueller’s investigation.

“This is a terrible situation and Attorney General Jeff Sessions should stop this Rigged Witch Hunt right now, before it continues to stain our country any further,” Mr. Trump wrote. He ignored that Mr. Sessions has recused himself from the investigation, which is overseen by the deputy attorney general, Rod J. Rosenstein.

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