Rudy Giuliani says Donald Trump would agree to an interview with Mueller, but there is one catch

Trump's lawyers do not want Mueller's team to bring up the topic of obstruction of justice with the president

Published July 24, 2018 11:37PM (EDT)

Robert Mueller; Donald Trump (Getty/AP/Salon)
Robert Mueller; Donald Trump (Getty/AP/Salon)

Rudy Giuliani claimed President Donald Trump would speak with Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team if the federal investigators confined their inquiries to one topic – whether or not his client's 2016 election campaign colluded with Russia.

In exchange, Trump's lawyers have asked that the topic of potential obstruction of justice in Mueller's investigation not be brought up when investigators interview the president, according to Giuliani.

Giuliani also expressed concern in the Monday evening interview with Bloomberg's Shannon Pettypiece that Trump could potentially perjure himself if investigators are swayed by witnesses who dispute the president's story, including the former FBI director whom he fired: James Comey.

According to Pettypiece's report, "Mueller hasn't yet responded to the proposal."

Trump has wavered in his willingness to speak with Mueller, with the special counsel warning that he could compel the president to testify with a subpoena as part of his ongoing investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 race.

The president has previously told reporters that he was willing to speak with the special counsel.

“I would do it under oath," Trump told reporters at the White House in January. "Absolutely."

During a recent appearance with "CBS Evening News," Trump indicated to anchor Jeff Glor that his legal team was "working on it." According to the president, he has "always wanted to do an interview, because – look – there's been no collusion."

"There's been no phone call," the president continued in the interview, which aired last Wednesday. "There's been nothing."

Giuliani, meanwhile, has continued to cast doubt on whether Trump would follow through on his word. The former mayor of New York said earlier this month in an interview with Fox News' Laura Ingraham that they were "probably further away" from an agreement with Mueller's team in the wake of the congressional testimony given by FBI agent Peter Strzok, whose anti-Trump text messages during the election led to his removal from the Russia probe.

The special counsel's investigation has come under fierce criticism from Trump and members of the Republican Party, who have repeatedly claimed that it is a "witch hunt" and a politically motivated "hoax" seeking to undercut the president.

In a series of early morning tweets on Sunday, Trump claimed, without offering evidence, that the release of top-secret documents related to the surveillance of former campaign adviser Carter Page had confirmed that the Justice Department and the FBI had "misled the courts" in the early stages of the Russia investigation, even as Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida argued that the warrant to a foreign intelligence court was justified.

Since May of last year, Mueller and his team have been probing whether the Trump campaign aided Russia in its efforts to meddle in the 2016 presidential election. According to The New York Times, the special counsel has filed "more than 100 criminal counts against 32 people and three companies" for allegedly interfering in the 2016 election. Among the people previously charged are 14 Russian intelligence officers and four Trump associates who have already obtained guilty pleas or indictments.

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By Shira Tarlo

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