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Exclusive: Trump worries that Mueller interview could be a 'perjury trap'

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Exclusive: Trump worries that Mueller interview could be a 'perjury trap'

By Steve Holland, Jeff Mason and James Oliphant

 

2018-08-20T221657Z_1_LYNXNPEE7J1KO_RTROPTP_4_USA-TRUMP.JPG

U.S. President Donald Trump answers a question during an interview with Reuters in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, U.S. August 20, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis

 

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday he was worried that any statements under oath he provides to Special Counsel Robert Mueller could be used to bring perjury charges against him as part of the probe into Russia's electoral interference.

 

In an interview with Reuters, Trump echoed the concerns of his top lawyer in the probe, Rudy Giuliani, who has warned that any sit-down with Mueller could be a “perjury trap.”

 

The president expressed fears that investigators could compare his statements with that of others who have testified in the probe, such as former FBI Director James Comey, and that any discrepancies could be used against him.

 

"So if I say something and he (Comey) says something, and it's my word against his, and he's best friends with Mueller, so Mueller might say: 'Well, I believe Comey,' and even if I'm telling the truth, that makes me a liar. That's no good."

 

Despite his concerns, Trump did not comment on whether he would ultimately agree to an interview with Mueller, who is, among other things, investigating whether Trump's campaign team colluded with Russians during the 2016 election and whether Trump has obstructed justice in the probe.

 

Trump also declined to say whether he might strip Mueller of his security clearance, as he did last week to former CIA Director John Brennan, who had repeatedly criticized Trump's handling of foreign policy and national security issues.

 

“I haven’t given it a lot of thought,” he said.

 

Russia has denied interfering in the 2016 U.S. election and Trump has denied any collusion took place.

 

As he has done almost daily on Twitter, Trump railed against the probe in the Oval Office interview with Reuters, repeatedly calling it a disgrace and arguing that Mueller and other members of his team were biased.

 

Trump asserted that he retained the power to intervene in the probe, but that he had chosen not to do so for the moment.

His administration, Trump said, was “a smooth-running machine, except in that world. And I’ve decided to stay out. Now I don’t have to stay out.

 

“I can go in, and I could do whatever — I could run it if I want. But I decided to stay out,” he said. “I’m totally allowed to be involved if I wanted to be. So far, I haven’t chosen to be involved. I’ll stay out.”

 

Trump has been critical of Attorney General Jeff Sessions for recusing himself from the probe, leaving oversight to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

 

In the interview, Trump blamed the investigation for hampering his efforts to strengthen the country’s relationship with Russia and for sowing discord among the American public.

 

He again neglected to blame Russia for interfering in the 2016 election, a conclusion reached by the U.S. intelligence community.

The probe, he said, “played right into the Russians - if it was Russia - they played right into the Russians’ hands.”

 

(Reporting by James Oliphant, Steve Holland and Jeff Mason; Editing by Peter Cooney)

 
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-- © Copyright Reuters 2018-08-21

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28 minutes ago, DoctorG said:

Even the totally innocent should never participate in a police interview.

Sheer luck, that no innocent has been given the chance to participate then.

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10 minutes ago, Chomper Higgot said:

Unless under order of subpoena.

That´s right! On the other hand, when that happens it can no longer be considered as a perjury. In that case we are talking the truth, right?

  • Confused 1

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3 minutes ago, Bluespunk said:

No worries if you tell the truth. 

I guess he have to say like good old Jack Nicholson against Tom Cruise in A Few Good Men - You want the truth?`You can´t handle the truth!

 

 

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He has said many, many, many times that he wants to sit for an interview. (That's probably a lie.) He could take the fifth, lie or tell the truth. He can't be indicted, at least until he leaves office.

 

Maybe he could be impeached, but the numbers aren't there for a conviction.

 

There's no up-side for him to testify to Mueller, so just make it look like he wants to - so he doesn't look too guilty.

 

 

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No "could" about it. IMO Mueller has found no evidence of Russian collusion with DT and wants to do an "Al Capone" ie can't get someone on the actual charge, so get them on something else.

DT should agree to an interview on the same rules as HRC had when she was interviewed by the FBI.

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2 minutes ago, thaibeachlovers said:

No "could" about it. IMO Mueller has found no evidence of Russian collusion with DT and wants to do an "Al Capone" ie can't get someone on the actual charge, so get them on something else.

DT should agree to an interview on the same rules as HRC had when she was interviewed by the FBI.

 

I'm not sure we know what Mueller has "found"? His task is to investigate what Russia might have done to influence the 2016 election. trump probably didn't participate in the original crime(s), it's looking like he might have attempted to obstruct the investigation if only to protect his family/friends.

 

Comparing trump to Al Capone seems like a poor choice?

 

Yes, put trump through a Secretary Clinton's 11-hour-like Benghazi hearing.

 

 

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3 minutes ago, mtls2005 said:

 

I'm not sure we know what Mueller has "found"? His task is to investigate what Russia might have done to influence the 2016 election. trump probably didn't participate in the original crime(s), it's looking like he might have attempted to obstruct the investigation if only to protect his family/friends.

 

Comparing trump to Al Capone seems like a poor choice?

 

Yes, put trump through a Secretary Clinton's 11-hour-like Benghazi hearing.

 

 

Confused? I wasn't comparing DT to Capone, and I wasn't talking about congressional hearings re HRC. Try reading it more carefully.

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BANGKOK 25 September 2018 06:08
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