Reporters finally had an opportunity to ask Trump about a Washington Post report claiming that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is hoping to interview the president in the near future as part of his investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia - an investigation that's reportedly pivoted toward he issue of obstruction of justice.
Pres. Trump on possibility Mueller team may speak with him: "When they have no collusion, and nobody's found any collusion at any level, it seems unlikely that you'd even have an interview."— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) January 10, 2018
When asked by Fox White House reporter John Roberts if he would consider sitting for an interview - or if he would request special terms or conditions - the president dismissed the investigation into Russia's election meddling and possible collusion as "a Democrat hoax" that left a "phony cloud" over his first 11 months in office.
“It’s a Democrat hoax that Democrats are blaming for losing an election they should’ve won because they have such an advantage in the electoral college."
Trump brought up Hillary Clinton’s interview with the FBI over Fourth of July weekend in 2016.
“Hilary Clinton had an interview where she wasn’t sworn in, they didn’t take notes, and it was done over Fourth of July weekend. That's perhaps ridiculous - a lot of people looked at that as a serious breach, and it really was.”
"I can only say this: There was absolutely no collusion. Everybody knows it.
By focusing on the Russia collusion investigation, Trump claimed that Democrats are "hurting" his administration and the US government.
"I’ve been in office now for 11 months and for 11 months they’ve had this phony cloud hanging over our government and it’s hurting our government."
Asked repeatedly if he would consider it, he repeatedly responded "we'll see."
Trump repeated that "virtually everybody" has come to the conclusion that there was no collusion.
"When they have no collusion, and nobody’s found collusion at any level, it seems unlikely that you’d even have an interview," Trump said.
According to WaPo, Trump’s attorneys are reluctant to allow him to sit down for open-ended, face-to-face questioning without clear parameters. Since the December meeting, they have discussed whether the president could provide written answers to some portion of the questions from Mueller’s investigators, as then-President Ronald Reagan did during the Iran-contra investigation.