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Trump, Mueller Near Final Stages of Talks for Interview in Probe

02 August 2018

President Donald Trump on Wednesday called on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to end Robert Mueller's Russian Federation probe immediately, escalating his attacks on the inquiry. Attacking the special counsel: "Bob Mueller is totally conflicted, and his 17 Angry Democrats that are doing his dirty work are a disgrace to US!"

Trump's remark coincided with the start of the trial this week of his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort on charges arising from Mueller's inquiry.

But it was clear from the outset that the case would not address that question: Prosecutors did not once reference Manafort's work for the Trump campaign nor mention Mueller's broader and ongoing investigation into Russian election interference. "And first, we really have to worry about the mental stability of our president when he is incriminating himself on Twitter", Painter said.

Mueller already is interested in some of Trump's tweets to the extent they raise obstruction of justice concerns.

In view of the tweet, "I think it would be helpful to have the debate on that bill", Collins said.

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Mr Trump came to Mr Manafort's defence, tweeting: "Who was treated worse, Alfonse Capone, legendary mob boss, killer and Public Enemy Number One, or Paul Manafort, political operative & Reagan/Dole darling, now serving solitary confinement - although convicted of nothing?"

As well, Manafort faces a second trial later this year in D.C., in which the charges he faces include conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, failure to register as a foreign agent and obstruction of justice.

An acquittal would support efforts by Trump and his allies to portray the investigation as politically motivated to threaten his presidency.

Trump has called the investigation a "witch hunt" and a "hoax" on numerous prior occasions.

Session is not overseeing the Russian Federation investigation.

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Trump also said the charges against Manafort have nothing to do with Russian Federation collusion.

Ironically, one of the areas the Mueller investigation is looking at is whether the president has used Twitter to try to pressurise or intimidate his attorney general.

Giuliani has been coy about the likelihood of an interview between Trump and Mueller.

While Trump has lambasted the Mueller probe for months, as evidence surfaced about its allegedly questionable political roots, the president had never publicly called on Sessions to end the investigation.

He wrote: "We have already have a smoking gun about a campaign getting dirt on their opponent, it was Hillary Clinton". "We're in the process of responding to their proposal", Giuliani said.

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According to three people briefed on the matter who spoke to the New York Times, Trump is set on doing the interview with Mueller because he's convinced he can persuade investigators of his own theory: That their own probe is a "witch hunt".

Trump, Mueller Near Final Stages of Talks for Interview in Probe