President Trump, speaking Fox News’ Chris Wallace in an exclusive, wide-ranging interview, defended Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker against Democrats’ calls for his recusal in Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, and said that he probably would not sit down for an interview with Mueller … The president said he was unaware that Whitaker previously had been critical of Mueller’s probe and had written in 2017 that it was at risk of becoming a “political fishing expedition.” Trump added that he “would not get involved” in Whitaker’s decisions as he oversees Mueller’s probe in his new role as head of the Justice Department and was confident Whitaker is “going to do what’s right.” The president added that he has personally responded to Mueller’s written questions in the Russia probe and that they would be submitted “very soon.” Trump said his team is “writing what I tell them to write” in response to the inquiries.
Trump emphasized, however, that he probably would not sit for an in-person interview with Mueller, amid fears voiced by his attorneys that he could be tricked into a so-called “perjury trap.”
The president also addressed several other topics, including:
- His war of words with CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta: “If he misbehaves, we’ll throw him out or we’ll stop the news conference.”
- On rumored upcoming changes in his administration: Trump said Chief of Staff John Kelly “will want to move on” and suggested he is considering potential changes in “three or four or five positions.”