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Russia probe: Trump lawyers 'in talks over Mueller interview'

From BBC - January 8, 2018

Donald Trump's lawyers are in talks with investigators who are seeking to interview the US president as part of a justice department probe, reports say.

The Washington Post, quoting an unnamed person close to Mr Trump, says investigation lead Robert Mueller is likely to interview him within weeks.

Mr Trump's legal team has not confirmed the reports.

Mr Mueller is investigating possible collusion between Trump's 2016 campaign and Russia in the US elections.

Tensions between Mr Mueller, the special counsel appointed to look into alleged Russian interference, and the president have risen since the investigation led to charges against several former members of Mr Trump's campaign team.

Mr Trump's administration denies working with Russia on the election, and the president has labelled the investigation "a witch hunt".

According to The Post, Mr Mueller first raised the possibility of interviewing the president in a meeting with his lawyers, John Dowd and Jay Sekulow, in late December.

"This is moving faster than anyone really realises," the newspaper quotes a person within the president's circle, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Mr Trump's lawyers are reluctant to allow him to sit down for open-ended questioning and are discussing whether to allow him to provide written answers to some of the questions, The Washington Post and NBC News report.

According to NBC, which cited three people close to the story, the talks are "preliminary and ongoing".

President Trump's legal team did not confirm the reports, but told both media outlets: "The White House is continuing its full co-operation with the OSC [Office of Special Counsel Robert Mueller] in order to facilitate the earliest possible resolution."

A spokesman for Mr Mueller also declined to comment.

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