White House officials said that chief of staff John Kelly has warned President Donald Trump not to talk to witnesses in special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.
According to CNN, when the White House official was asked about a New York Times report which said that Trump was questioning his former chief of staff, Reince Priebus, as well as White House counsel Don McGahn about their interviews in Robert Mueller’s probe, he said that “it’s pretty clear that Kelly admonishes him constantly and he’s not the only one.”
However, the same official described the President’s conversation with Priebus as normal.
“There’s nothing wrong with talking to someone and saying, ‘Did they treat you well?’ ” the official said.
CNN also reported that this official made it clear that Trump’s discussions regarding the Mueller investigation are making his top aides inside the White House uncomfortable. The president is also potentially putting himself in a legally dangerous position.
The special counsel’s investigation is only one of the several probes looking into the Russian interference in the 2016 election and into whether Trump campaign associates have any ties to the Russian government. As part of his probe, Mueller is additionally investigating if Trump has done any potential obstruction of justice by firing the FBI directors.
The president has repeatedly denied any kind of collusion.
The New York Times reported that Trump asked Priebus if special counsel investigators had been “nice” during his October interview, citing two people familiar with the conversation. The Times also reported Wednesday that Mueller’s investigators are aware of two occasions where Trump asked witnesses about conversations they had with investigators.
President Trump also said to McGahn, through an aide, that he should put out a statement denying the report that McGahn told investigators in December that Trump asked him to fire Mueller.