Trump's lawyers rebuffed request for Mueller interview in recent weeks

Posted at 5:25 PM, Jan 14, 2019

President Donald Trump's team rebuffed special counsel Robert Mueller's request in recent weeks for an in-person session with Trump to ask follow-up questions.

The request was made after Trump's team submitted written answers to a limited number of questions from Mueller's team focusing on before Trump was in office.

As the Mueller investigation winds down, an interview with the President remains an outstanding issue even as Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani said an interview would happen "over my dead body." One source familiar with the matter summed it up by saying, "Mueller is not satisfied."

People familiar with the talks describe the two sides as at loggerheads, with no meaningful discussion about the issue in about five weeks.

And the Trump team appears to have hardened its position. It's told the Mueller team that prosecutors have no cause to seek follow-up questions in person after the President's team submitted written responses to questions before Thanksgiving.

The Trump team has all but closed the door to any further responses to Mueller, the sources say.

Recent developments -- notably Mueller allowing Michael Cohen, the President's former lawyer, to testify publicly before Congress next month -- have only lessened any chance of a voluntary presidential interview, the sources said.

It was nearly a year ago that the two teams first negotiated a possible presidential sit-down with Mueller at Camp David. But those talks stalled after Trump's legal team at the time disagreed on whether to go ahead with it.

Since then, Trump's new lawyers have counseled against doing an interview.