President Donald Trump would not commit Wednesday to being interviewed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller as part of the Russia investigation and called the prospect “unlikely,” despite saying last year that he would be willing to speak with him.
“We’ll see what happens,” Trump said when asked if he would be open to such a meeting. “Certainly I’ll see what happens, but when they have no collusion and nobody has found any collusion at any level, it seems unlikely that you’d even have an interview.”
Trump’s position, stated during a news conference with Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg at the White House, came in the wake of reports this week that Mueller and his team raised the possibility of an interview with the president during a meeting with his attorneys.
A source with knowledge of the meeting, which occurred last month, said that it was not the first instance in which Mueller expressed a desire to meet with Trump as he continues to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and potential collusion with the Trump campaign.
Last June, the president provided a different answer when asked by ABC News’ Jonathan Karl whether he would open to speaking with Mueller. At the time Trump was refuting congressional testimony by former FBI director James Comey in which Comey claimed that the president had asked for Comey’s loyalty.
Trump said he would “100 percent” be willing to share his version of the encounter with Comey under oath. When Karl followed up to ask if he would do so with the special counsel, the president said he “would be glad to tell him exactly what I just told you.”
As has become routine, Trump fervently denied Wednesday that any collusion took place and described such a suggestion as “a phony cloud” that has hung “over this administration and our government.”
“It has hurt our government,” he added. “It does hurt our government.”
ABC News’ John Santucci, Katherine Faulders and Justin Fishel contributed to this report.