President Donald Trump told reporters on Thursday that he would still “like to” testify before special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russia’s 2016 election meddling as well as potential obstruction of justice charges.
“Yes, I would like to,” Trump told CNN’s Jeff Zeleny during an event on new tariffs against China.
The statement came amid a shakeup of his legal team – Trump’s lead lawyer, John Dowd, resigned from the President’s personal legal team handling the response to the Russia investigation.
Trump’s lawyers and Mueller’s team are in the midst of negations over what topics an interview with the President could focus on. According to two sources, Mueller’s team would like to discuss Trump’s actions surrounding the firings of FBI Director James Comey and national security adviser Michael Flynn and his role in crafting a statement aboard Air Force One about his son’s June 2016 meeting with Russian operatives.
Trump has previously said he would like to talk to Mueller, but he and his lawyers have later walked back that claim.
“I am looking forward to it, actually,” Trump told reporters in January. “Here is the story: There has been no collusion whatsoever. There is no obstruction whatsoever. And I am looking forward to it.”
He later said that the decision to talk to Mueller would be “subject to my lawyers” but that he personally would like to do it.
“I would do it under oath. I would do it,” he said, later adding, “I would do it under oath, yeah.”
Ty Cobb, Trump’s White House lawyer, later walked back Trump’s statement.
“While Mr. Trump was speaking hurriedly before departing for Davos, he remains committed to continued complete cooperation with the OSC and is looking forward to speaking with Mr. Mueller,” Cobb said.
CNN’s Pamela Brown contributed to this report.