Politics

Trump Says He Finished Answering Mueller’s Questions on Russian Collusion

Special counsel has been looking at whether the president or associates colluded with Russian interests during the campaign

President Donald Trump told the media on Friday from the Oval Office that he has answered written questions related to the special counsel’s investigation into election interference.

Robert Mueller and his team have been looking — for what seems like forever — into whether the president or his associates colluded with Russian interests during his presidential campaign of 2016.

The president did agree to cooperate somewhat by providing written answers to questions investigators had.

The president told reporters in the Oval Office that he’s now finished with those questions.

Trump added that he had not yet submitted the written answers to the special counsel.

He would not elaborate on when he would do so.

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He did say that he was able to answer the questions very easily, but that he still had to be careful.

“You have to always be careful when you answer questions with people that probably have bad intentions,” said Trump on Friday. “But no, the questions were very routinely answered by me.”

Trump met with lawyers this week but made clear to reporters that he was the one to answer the questions.

The Mueller investigation has been trying to get the president to answer questions, which his legal team was hesitant to agree to, for many obvious reasons. Also, Mueller could have subpoenaed the president, but that potentially could have opened up litigation and questions about constitutional powers.

Trump eventually agreed to answer questions as long as he was provided the questions in advance and given time to provide a written response.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed Mueller to lead the special counsel investigation last year after then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from everything related to the allegations.

The investigation has haunted the administration ever since, with the fiercest Trump critics hoping it will uncover something that will sink the president.

Some lawmakers have urged Trump not to fire the special counsel or to impede in his efforts.

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who is departing the Senate soon, this week asked to bring legislation that would protect the investigation.

“Legislation protecting special counsel Robert Mueller from being fired was blocked in the Senate on Wednesday,” as The Hill noted. “Sen. Jeff Flake … asked for consent to bring the legislation, which has stalled after being passed in the Judiciary Committee in April, to the Senate floor for a vote.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) blocked that request.

Related: Mike Lee: I Don’t Like Flake’s ‘Unnecessary and Unconstitutional’ Play for Mueller Protection Vote

Flake has since threatened to block judicial appointments over the bill.

The special counsel’s investigation has swept up former associates of the president in its probe.

Paul Manafort, a former campaign manager, was convicted on eight counts related to bank and tax fraud.

Michael Cohen, a former personal lawyer, pleaded guilty to facilitating two payments to keep women quiet about alleged affairs with Trump.

Check out this video for more perspective on the story:

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