President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that he was “looking forward” to speaking to federal prosecutors as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into ties between his 2016 campaign and Russia, adding that he would be willing to testify under oath.
“I’m looking forward to it, actually,” the president said when pressed on the matter, according to audio released by CNN and MSNBC. Trump added that a sit-down would be “subject to my lawyers.”
The president said in the impromptu gathering with a group of reporters at the White House that they were discussing a time frame for the meeting in “about two or three weeks.”
Pressed on whether he’d speak to investigators under oath, Trump combatively questioned whether Hillary Clinton, his campaign rival, had agreed to be sworn in.
But the president’s argument misses a key point. Lying to an FBI agent — regardless of whether or not there’s an oath — is still a federal crime, one that both former national security adviser Michael Flynn and former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos have already pleaded guilty to as part of the Mueller investigation.
Trump also told reporters he didn’t recall asking then-acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe whom he had voted for in the 2016 election. The president reportedly asked McCabe about his voting record during a May meeting in the Oval Office, shortly after he fired James Comey as director of the bureau.
While Trump said last summer that he would cooperate and speak to federal prosecutors if called to testify, he declined in recent month to commit outright to meeting with Mueller’s team.
“We’ll see what happens,” Trump told reporters at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida earlier this month when asked whether he’d commit to testifying. The president added at the time that it “seems unlikely that you’d even have an interview,” saying that no collusion with Russia on his part had been proven thus far.
In a major legislative concession, the president also said on Wednesday that he’d be open to a pathway for citizenship for the hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants whose protections under the Dream Act he rolled back last year.
“We’re going to morph into it,” he said. “It’s going to happen, at some point in the future, over a period of 10 to 12 years.”
He added: “I think it’s a nice thing to have the incentive of after a period of years to being able to become a citizenship.”
Trump, who chided reporters for covering Mueller’s investigation despite what he said was “no collusion whatsoever,” rejected criticisms that he may have obstructed justice.
“You fight back, oh, it’s obstruction,” the president said, deriding his critics.
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