A day after CNN reported that nearly 8 in 10 Americans polled want to see Donald Trump sit down with special counsel Robert Mueller and testify under oath regarding the ongoing investigation into potential collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign, the POTUS told reporters he’s “looking forward to it.” Trump made the comments, which were recorded on audio when speaking to about 20 reporters meeting with his chief of staff John Kelly at the White House on Wednesday.
On the audio recording of the conversation, which has since been made public by media outlets, a reporter can be heard asking Donald Trump if he would be willing to speak to Mueller under oath regarding the Russia investigation. Trump immediately responded that he would and that he is “looking forward” to it before going to to tell the gathered press that he is more concerned about the stories they are not reporting on.
“I am looking forward to it, actually. Here is the story: There has been no collusion whatsoever. There is no obstruction whatsoever. And I am looking forward to it.”
As CNN reports, according to Trump, the only true story about the Russian collusion narrative is that there has been “no collusion whatsoever” between himself and Russia. He went on to admit that he has been fighting back against the investigation, something that his critics may be misconstruing as obstruction of justice.
“Now they’re saying, ‘Oh, well, did he fight back?’ You fight back, ‘Oh, it’s obstruction.'”
Despite proclaiming a personal willingness and even eagerness to speak to Robert Mueller under oath, POTUS Trump didn’t forget to add that when it comes to such meeting, he will heed the advice of his attorneys, who may be unlikely to approve of such a conversation. Trump’s words come during a week when Mueller’s investigation into potential Russian election meddling has dominated U.S. headlines.
In recent days, several developments related to the Trump/Russia investigation have been made known to the public, including the fact that both embattled Attorney General Jeff Sessions and ex-FBI Director James Comey (who was controversially fired by Donald Trump last year) have already spoken to Mueller and his team. It has also been reported by CNN that “sources” have confirmed that Mueller has set his sights on an interview with the POTUS.
The current focus of the special counsel investigation into Trump’s involvement in alleged Russian collusion has reportedly focused on the dismissal of former national security adviser Michael Flynn (who has since pleaded guilty to lying about his connection to and conversations with the former Russian ambassador to the U.S.) and whether or not Donald Trump tried to obstruct Comey’s investigation into Flynn, an allegation that Trump has repeatedly and vehemently denied.
POTUS Trump’s Wednesday words regarding a potential under oath sit down with Robert Mueller are a bit of a deviation from what he had to say just weeks ago. During a January press conference with the Norwegian Prime Minister, Donald Trump became somewhat evasive when asked about speaking with special counsel regarding the ongoing investigation into the now infamous Russian situation that has dogged his presidency.
“I’ll see what happens. But when they have no collusion — and nobody has found any collusion at any level — it seems unlikely that you would even have an interview.”
According to the results of the CNN poll published on Tuesday, the American support for an under oath discussion between special counsel Mueller and Donald Trump is overwhelming, with the majority of the majority of those polled from all major political parties supporting the idea of Trump testifying.
“Overall, 78% say Trump ought to testify in the inquiry focused on Russian efforts to interfere with the 2016 US election if he is asked. That rises to 95% among Democrats, while standing at 75% among independents and 59% among Republicans.”
Donald Trump’s words regarding “looking forward” to an under oath conversation with Robert Mueller came just hours before he boarded Air Force One and headed to Switzerland (sans Melania) for the Davos World Economic Forum where he is scheduled to give a speech on January 26. The event comes less than a week after millions hit the streets in Women’s March events around the world, many of them specifically protesting Donald Trump.
As Quartz reports, flying to Switzerland won’t help the president escape from his critics. An unknown but “growing” number of those attending the Davos World Economic Forum are planning to walk out of his Friday speech in protest of his recent “s*******e countries” comment. Anti-Trump protesters have also taken to Swiss streets in recent days to share their outrage over his impending visit.
While Donald Trump sounded sincere and even enthusiastic about “looking forward” to a potential under oath meeting with Mueller, the White House is already attempting to walk back his words, reports The New York Times. In the hours after the POTUS spoke with reporters, White House attorney Ty Cobb attempted to amend Trump’s words by claiming that he was “speaking hurriedly” and meant only that he would be willing to meet with special counsel in the future.
“He’s ready to meet with them, but he’ll be guided by the advice of his personal counsel.”
According to Cobb, arrangement details regarding a meeting between Trump and Mueller are being ironed out by the special counsel’s team and the POTUS’ bevy of personal lawyers.