Trump pushes for interview with Mueller against advice

Trump calls Manafort prosecution ‘a hoax,’ says Sessions should stop Mueller investigation

The Republican president has long complained about the criminal probe into his White House victory but Wednesday's comment appeared to be his most direct call for shutting down the investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

The president's attorneys, instead, want Mueller to limit the scope of his questioning to questions centering on collusion with Russian Federation. He also called it a "a disgrace to USA".

Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, the ranking Democrat on the Senate intelligence committee who has criticized Trump for not taking a stronger leadership role on election security, said he was heartened by the White House news conference.

Sessions recused himself from overseeing the probe, leaving Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in charge of it.

Earlier on Thursday, key members of Trump's national security team had appeared in the White House briefing room to warn that Russian Federation was continuing its efforts to interfere in the U.S. political system, saying Trump had directed them to make countering election interference a top priority.

"It's not an order, it's the president's opinion", Sanders said.

President Trump attorneys say both sides have exchanged proposals for conditions for such an interview.

In another tweet on Wednesday, Trump wrote, "Russian Collusion with the Trump Campaign, one of the most successful in history, is a TOTAL HOAX".

Trump has repeatedly belittled the probe as "a hoax", as those close to him suggest he feels that any talk of Russian interference tarnishes his electoral victory and delegitimizes his presidency.

In negotiations with Mueller this spring, Trump's legal team sought a deal in which the President could provide written answers to some of the special counsel's questions.

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As the Washington Post and others have since reported, the nature of Mueller's reply seems rather Trump-friendly on the surface.

She did not mention, however, that the Supreme Court rejected that legal analysis and sided with the Trump administration. "People in New Mexico and across the country are exhausted of ultra-rich and powerful people like Donald Trump trying to abuse their power to protect themselves", he wrote on Twitter.

The President has escalated his attacks on the Mueller probe in recent days, and his tweet on Wednesday comes on the second day of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort's trial, the first case Mueller's team has taken before a jury.

During the White House briefing, Bolton said Trump raised the election issue with Putin and is determined to block interference in this year's campaigns.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), who has drawn the ire of Trump amid the investigation, said the United States should "never accept" Trump's demand for Sessions to end the probe.

Mr Manafort's involvement in the Trump campaign spanned six months and he led efforts to secure the Republican nomination for Trump 2016.

Asked whether the administration could be trusted to protect the country, Wray responded: "I can assure the American people that the men and the women of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, from the director all the way on down, are going to follow our oaths and do our jobs".

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

"If there are other credible reasons for doing something, you've kind of lost the beyond a reasonable doubt", Rodgers said.

But he also said the team would consider "one or two questions" of obstruction if "they really need".

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