Will he or won't he? Trump's stance on Mueller testimony

Trump rips Justice Department in tweets
Trump rips Justice Department in tweets

    JUST WATCHED

    Trump rips Justice Department in tweets

MUST WATCH

Trump rips Justice Department in tweets 01:45

(CNN)The prospects of President Donald Trump sitting for an interview with special counsel Robert Mueller appeared to dim this week as the President lambasted a set of potential questions that leaked to the media.

"The questions are an intrusion into the President's Article 2 powers under the Constitution to fire any Executive Branch Employee," the President tweeted, quoting the lawyer Joe diGenova, whose involvement with Trump's legal team was announced in March but fell through a week later.
It was a far cry from last June, when Trump was eager to sit before the special counsel to answer his questions.
"100%," Trump said when asked whether he'd be willing to testify under oath, specifically regarding claims made by fired FBI director James Comey.
    In the ensuing months, Trump has largely remained open to an interview, even as he insists the allegations his campaign colluded with Russia are false. In his view, an interview could help speed the investigation to a conclusion.
    His lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, told The Washington Post on Wednesday that an interview is not off the table. But he said the parameters must be narrowed.
    "Some people have talked about a possible 12-hour interview. If it happens, that's not going to happen, I'll tell you that," he said. "It'd be, max, two to three hours around a narrow set of questions."

    Timeline

    Trump: I'm 100% willing to go under oath
    Trump: I'm 100% willing to go under oath

      JUST WATCHED

      Trump: I'm 100% willing to go under oath

    MUST WATCH

    Trump: I'm 100% willing to go under oath 01:18
    • June 9, 2017
      "100%."

      Asked during a news conference with the leader of Romania whether he'd be willing to testify under oath specifically regarding claims made by fired FBI director James Comey, Trump said: "100%." Later, asked if he'd be willing to speak with Mueller, Trump said: "I would be glad to tell him exactly what I just told you."

    • January 11, 2018
      "We'll see what happens."

      Trump told reporters at a news conference with the Norwegian prime minister: "We'll see what happens … When they have no collusion and nobody has found any collusion at any level, it seems unlikely that you'd even have an interview."

    • January 23, 2018
      "We're going to be fully cooperative with the special counsel."

      White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said during a daily briefing: "We're going to be fully cooperative with the special counsel and we're going to continue to do that throughout the process. But we're also not going to comment on who may or may not, or could be, interviewed at any point."

    • January 24, 2018
      "Subject to my lawyers … but I would love to do it."

      Trump told reporters in chief of staff John Kelly's office: "I would love to do that, and I'd like to do it as soon as possible … I guess they're talking about two or three weeks, but I would love to do it. You know, again, I have to say, subject to my lawyers and all of that, but I would love to do it."

    • February 6, 2018
      "Discussions … are understandably private."

      Responding to reports that Trump's legal team opposes an interview with Mueller, White House lawyer Ty Cobb wrote in a statement: "The professional and active discussions between the Office of the Special Counsel and the President's personal lawyers regarding how and under what terms information will be exchanged are understandably private."

    • March 20, 2018
      "We've been fully cooperative."

      Asked when Trump might sit down with Mueller, Sanders said in a briefing: "We've been fully transparent throughout this process. We've been fully cooperative, and we're going to continue to be cooperative with the Office of Special Counsel."

    • March 22, 2018
      "Yes. I would like to."

      Trump told reporters in the White House Diplomatic Room after an address that he's still like to speak with Mueller: "Yes. I would like to. I would like to."

    • April 4, 2018
      "We'll continue to be cooperative."

      Asked if Trump has wavered in his willingness to speak with Mueller, Sanders said: "The President is working in conjunction with his legal team and making a determination … We're continuing to be fully cooperative with the Office of the Special Counsel … and we'll continue to be cooperative until that is — comes to a full conclusion, which we hope is soon."

    • May 2, 2018
      "The questions are an intrusion."

      After a list of Mueller's possible questions are published, Trump suggests the lines of inquiry are an intrusion into his presidential powers, tweeting:

    • May 2, 2018
      "Not off the table."

      After renewed questions over Trump's willingness to sit for an interview with Mueller, Cobb — now off Trump's legal team — told ABC News: "It's certainly not off the table and people are working hard to make decisions and work towards an interview."

    • May 2, 2018
      "Max, two to three hours"

      Rudy Giuliani, who joined Trump's legal team in April, told The Washington Post that an interview could still happen so long as the parameters are narrow: "Some people have talked about a possible 12-hour interview. If it happens, that's not going to happen, I'll tell you that. It'd be, max, two to three hours around a narrow set of questions."

    Disagreements

    Some of his aides, advisers and lawyers at times have disagreed. Mueller, they argued, could be setting a trap for perjury. Subjecting the President to an interview had the potential to open him to criminal charges.
    For a time, Trump resisted those arguments.
    "I'd like to do it as soon as possible," he told reporters in January, adding any decision would be "subject to my lawyers."
    Even as some of his campaign associates were indicted, Trump remained open to the interview.
    "Yes. I would like to," he said after departing the White House Diplomatic Room in March having delivered a presidential address.
    Trump began initial preparations for the interview with his legal team last month, going over the broad topics that might be included. His legal team was in regular negotiations with Mueller's office over the parameters of an interview.
    This week, potential questions that Mueller could pose to Trump appeared in the media. And Trump's views on the prospective sit-down seemed to change.
    "There was no Collusion (it is a Hoax) and there is no Obstruction of Justice (that is a setup & trap)," he wrote on Wednesday morning, an indication the warnings of a "trap" have gained traction.
    Ty Cobb, the one-time White House lawyer working on the Russia investigation who has consistently encouraged a voluntary Mueller interview, insisted to ABC News on Wednesday that a sit-down is "not off the table."
    But moments later, he announced his retirement.