President Donald Trump is apparently “looking forward” to speak to special counsel Robert Mueller regarding the ongoing investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
More importantly, he said he would do so under oath.
Speaking to the reporters outside White House before leaving for the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, the commander-in-chief said he was open to testify to Mueller’s team, which is currently conducting a probe into Trump campaign’s ties to Russian operatives.
“I’m looking forward to it, and I would like to do it as soon as possible,” he said. “I would do it under oath, absolutely.”
Trump then asserted he had nothing to worry about since there was “no collusion.”
“Here is the story: There has been no collusion whatsoever,” he continued, adding the interview might take place in the next two to three weeks. “There is no obstruction whatsoever. And I am looking forward to it.”
Trump also said his attempts to "fight back" against the investigation should not be construed as obstruction.
“Now they're saying, ‘Oh, well, did he fight back?’” he added. “You fight back, ‘Oh, it's obstruction.’”
Although this is not the first time Trump has made such a promise, as he vowed something similar last year in June, his statement still appeared to surprise his legal team — and not in a positive way.
As The New York Times reported, White House lawyer Ty Cobb tried to downplay the president’s words by claiming Trump was “speaking hurriedly” and only meant he is willing to meet Mueller’s team instead of speaking under oath in front of a grand jury. Cobb also clarified if the special counsel does call upon Trump, his attorney would be there to guide him through the meeting.
It is also important to note before vowing to appear in front of Mueller under oath, Trump had first inquired whether his former rival, ex-Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, had spoken under oath during the federal investigation into her much-hyped email scandal.
Given the fact it is not mandatory to testify under oath in such situations, as lying to the FBI is a crime itself, Trump was informed that Clinton had in fact submitted to a voluntarily interview — which, for those who might not remember, lasted a full 11 hours.
“She didn’t do it under oath, but I would do it under oath,’’ Trump said, according to The Washington Post.
Social media users had a lot to say about this:
When Trump says he’ll testify under oath but also says he’ll listen to his lawyers pic.twitter.com/fikOEdVyOi— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) January 24, 2018
Does it really matter that Trump says he'll testify UNDER OATH? He's lied over 2000 times since he took office. His hand on a bible (of which is has never read) when he was sworn in that he would uphold the Constitution. We've all seen how well that's gone.— Dana Goldberg (@DGComedy) January 24, 2018
Trump: I'll be happy to testify to the Special Counsel under oath.— Alternative NOAA (@altNOAA) January 25, 2018
Lawyer: He didn't mean that.
Trump: I want to talk to Mueller under oath— Luisa Haynes (@wokeluisa) January 24, 2018
Trump's attorney: NOOOOOOOOO (while running down the hall)
Trump today: I look forward to testifying under oath— Luisa Haynes (@wokeluisa) January 25, 2018
Sarah Sanders tomorrow: the President did NOT say what he said
And so - just a short time after Pres Trump told reporters that he was willing and eager to be interviewed by Robert Mueller UNDER OATH - his lawyer, Ty Cobb, tells the NYTimes Trump spoke “hurriedly” and off the cuff & meant only to say he’d meet w them.— Chris Jansing (@ChrisJansing) January 25, 2018
Thumbnail/Banner : Reuters, Yuri Gripas