Giuliani Says Trump-Mueller Interview Negotiations Are 'Near The End'

Negotiations about a potential interview between President Donald Trump and Special Counsel Robert Mueller are "near the end," the U.S. leader's attorney, Rudy Giuliani has said.

Speaking with The Hill, Giuliani said he was hopeful that an interview between his client and Mueller would be "in the realm of debatable and negotiable."

"We're not giving them a straight turndown," Giuliani said of Mueller's request for an interview with Trump, which could prove critical to the special counsel's ongoing investigation.

U.S. President Donald Trump in the Rose Garden at the White House July 25, 2017 in Washington, D.C. The U.S. leader's attorney Rudy Giuliani has said that negotiations around an interview between the president and Special Counsel Robert Mueller are near their end. Chip Somodevilla/Getty

Giuliani's comments represent a shift from his assertions last month that it would be unlikely that the president would meet with the special counsel.

At the time, the former New York City mayor told Fox News's Sean Hannity that the Trump team had "gone further away from the idea of answering any questions" from Mueller's team, adding: "We don't think they have a legitimate investigation."

The president's attorney said his team was in the process of writing a letter in connection to the special counsel's request for an interview.

Giuliani said he expected the letter to be complete by Wednesday, adding that "in the worst case scenario, it will be done on Thursday."

While Trump has increasingly called for the Mueller probe to be called off, repeatedly branding it a "witch hunt," the president's interest in speaking with the special counsel has been widely reported, with the U.S. leader hoping to clear his name of any suspected wrongdoing.

In a tweet on Sunday morning, the president appeared to admit that the purpose of a June 2016 meeting at the Trump Tower between members of his campaign team, including his son Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian delegation, was to get "information on an opponent."

Previously, Trump had maintained that the meeting centered around a discussion about adoptions. However, on Sunday the U.S. leader acknowledged that the gathering was held to get dirt on former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, despite the president saying that the discussion "went nowhere."

In his interview with The Hill, Giuliani expressed concerns that a meeting between Trump and Mueller could result in the former falling into a "perjury trap."

The attorney said that he believed the special counsel's team appeared to be more inclined to believe former FBI Director James Comey than the U.S. leader.

Comey, who Trump fired in May 2017, has said that the president expressed hope in a February 14, 2017 meeting that the then-FBI head would look the other way in the investigation into former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, with the president telling Comey: "I hope you can let this go."

Flynn went on to plead guilty to lying to the FBI, but the alleged meeting between Comey and Trump has raised questions around whether the president tried to obstruct justice when he expressed his wishes to the FBI chief.

Giuliani has insisted, however, that Trump never asked Comey to "go easy" on Flynn.

"The answer is not going to change. The answer as to when he asked Comey to go easy—the answer is he did not," Trump's attorney said.

"Now, If they have Comey saying that he did, the only reason they want [Trump] to say he did not, under oath, is to try to trap him into a perjury prosecution," the former New York City mayor warned.

"I can't help it if you believe Comey," he added.

Still Giuliani said that a meeting is something that could still be negotiated between the Trump team and Mueller.

He said that while his team is not working under any self-imposed deadline to respond to Mueller's interview request, "it feels like" negotiations are coming to an end.

And once they do, "we're going to find out who is going to give on the things that are important," Giuliani said.

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