WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Friday said he has finished his answers to questions posed by special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, but he added he has not submitted them yet.
Speaking to reporters at the White House as he signed a cybersecurity bill into law, Trump said the investigation “should never have happened,” but also said, “I imagine it’s ending now, or from what I hear it’s ending. I’m sure we’ll be just fine.” The president took ownership of the responses to the questions, saying he is writing the answers, not his lawyers. “I was asked a series of questions. I’ve answered them very easily, very easily,” Trump said. “I haven’t submitted them yet. As you know, I’ve been a bit busy.”
Trump echoed his lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who has warned that Mueller’s questions could include “perjury traps” to catch him lying. Trump said he’s sure the questions are “tricked up,” adding, “So you have to always be careful when you answer questions with people that probably have bad intentions.” He said his lawyers will review his answers.
“Now, you need lawyers for submittal. You need lawyers to go over some of the answers. But they’re not very difficult questions,” he said. The president has chafed at the investigation, repeatedly calling it a hoax and asserting there was “no collusion” between his presidential campaign and Russia, since Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed Mueller as special counsel on May 17, 2017. But Trump on Friday insisted he was not agitated, despite his tweets Thursday that accused Mueller’s team of “screaming and shouting at people” to get “the answers they want.”
Mueller has obtained six guilty pleas, including from former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort on crimes related to his work overseas, and has indicted 26 Russian nationals and three companies for interfering in the election. Mueller has not indicated what he has found about potential Trump campaign collusion with Russia or Trump obstruction of his investigation.