U.S.

Trump, Mueller Interview Getting Close As Lawyers Prepare Trump for Questions: Report

President Donald Trump’s legal team is reportedly working on questions the Republican may face during an expected interview with Special Counsel Robert Mueller. An actual date and time for the interview remain in question, but the meeting could happen soon.

The president’s attorneys, however, still have to do deal with Trump’s propensity to go off script and will potentially seek to narrow the scope of Mueller’s questions, topics and time with Trump, according to Politico’s report Thursday.

One unnamed source claimed a sit down between Mueller and Trump is inching closer to reality.

“I don’t think it’s months and months out. I don’t think it’s in a week,” a person familiar with the negotiations told Politico. “But I think it’s moving toward closure.”

Trump previously said on January 24 that he was not only "looking forward" to meeting with Mueller’s team, and would be prepared to do so under oath, but that his legal team had told him it could happen in a matter of weeks.

With no such meeting taking place yet, reports have instead indicated the president’s lawyers are trying to leverage Trump’s appearance before the special counsel.

“It’s a tug of war both internally and probably with Mueller,” a top Republican who recently spoke with Trump also told Politico. “The end goal for the White House is to get as narrow a discussion as can be possibly negotiated including maybe just answering written questions like [President Ronald] Reagan.”

Indeed, Trump’s attorneys have dangled an interview with conditions, The Wall Street Journal reported last week. They wanted to strike an agreement with Mueller that would limit the scope of his questioning and possibly have the former FBI director submit to ending any part of the probe involving Trump within 60 days of the president’s interview, according to the report.

GettyImages-932132018 President Donald Trump arrives at the White House after traveling to Southern California to view border wall prototypes, and to St. Louis to attend a fundraising event for Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley and to meet with employees and executives at the Boeing Co., March 14, 2018 in Washington, D.C. Getty Images/Eric Thayer

If the interview does take place, Mueller’s team is expected to focus on several major moments in Trump’s first year in office, chiefly the dismissals of former national security adviser Michael Flynn and former FBI director James Comey.

Comey claimed that Trump had asked him to stop investigating Flynn, who did not fully disclose his contacts with foreign officials, including Russia’s former ambassador to the United States. Flynn has since pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI and is cooperating with Mueller’s investigation.

It has been widely reported that Mueller could be angling for an obstruction of justice charge against the president, with Comey stating that Trump had asked if he could “let go” of the Flynn probe.

After Flynn’s plea deal in December, Trump denied, again, that he had asked Comey to drop the Flynn investigation, calling the claim: “Just more Fake News covering another Comey lie!”

However, a day earlier, Trump claimed that he had fired Flynn because he lied to Vice President Mike Pence and the FBI, calling into question what the president knew of Flynn’s misdeeds and when.

“I had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI. He has pled guilty to those lies. It is a shame because his actions during the transition were lawful. There was nothing to hide!” Trump tweeted December 2.

Questions over possible obstruction of justice are also likely to center on a misleading statement drafted aboard Air Force One in response to reports of a Trump Tower meeting during the campaign involving Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort and a Kremlin-linked lawyer. Trump dictated the statement, according to The Washington Post.

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