WASHINGTON – President Trump said Monday he’s “totally allowed” to get involved in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe into his campaign, but he’s chosen not to flex that power.
“I’ve decided to stay out,” Trump said in an interview with Reuters. “Now, I don’t have to stay out, as you know. I can go in and I could… do whatever, I could run it if I want.”
Mueller has been investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election, Trump campaign ties to Russia and possible obstruction of justice by Trump.
Trump routinely slams the Mueller probe as a “witch hunt.”
Echoing the concerns of his lawyer, Rudy Guiluani, Trump said he’s concerned that if he agreed to be interviewed by Mueller, he’d be walking into a “perjury trap.”
The president said he’s worried Mueller and his team would compare his statements to others who have testified, such as former FBI Director James Comey, and use any discrepancies to charge him with perjury.
“Even if I am telling the truth, that makes me a liar,” Trump said. “That’s no good.”
In other parts of the interview:
- Trump said he’d “most likely” meet again with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, and the president credited his “great chemistry” with the dictator for easing nuclear tensions. “I like him. He likes me,” Trump said. “There’s no ballistic missiles going up, there’s a lot of silence … I have very good personal relations with Chairman Kim, and I think that’s what holds it together.”
- Twitter, Facebook and YouTube’s decision to silence controversial voices is “very dangerous,” Trump said. The comments come as conspiracy theorist and Trump-booster Alex Jones had some of his Infowars content removed from social media platforms. “I won’t mention names but when they take certain people off of Twitter or Facebook and they’re making that decision, that is really a dangerous thing because that could be you tomorrow,” Trump said.
- Trump said he was “not thrilled” with Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell for raising interest rates and said the Fed should be more accommodating to his administration during tough trade talks with China and other countries. “We’re negotiating very powerfully and strongly with other nations. We’re going to win. But during this period of time I should be given some help by the Fed. The other countries are accommodated,” Trump said.
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