Donald Trump and his team have spent quite a bit of time and effort resisting cooperation with Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his investigators. That’s especially true when it comes to the president answering Mueller’s questions.
Back in January, Trump boasted that he was “looking forward to” an interview with investigators – something he said he’d “love” to do – adding that he was “absolutely” prepared to answer questions under oath. The president suggested at the time that the interview would happen in roughly “two or three weeks.”
In the months that followed, Trump’s lawyers offered a variety of alternatives to cooperating, before eventually reaching an agreement with the special counsel’s office to answer questions in writing. The president told reporters this afternoon that he has personally completed the Q&A.
“My lawyers aren’t working on that. I’m working on that. I write the answers. My lawyers don’t write answers, I write answers.”
“I was asked a series of questions. I have answered them very easily. Very easily. I’m sure they’re tripped up because they like to catch people…. You have to be careful answering questions with people that probably have bad intentions, but no. The questions were very routinely answered by me. By me. Okay?”
The same answer included additional references to Hillary Clinton, the electoral college, and how impressed Trump was with his own presidential candidacy.
The president has not, however, submitted his responses to Mueller’s team – Trump said he’s been “busy” – and he conceded that his attorneys would “go over” his answers.
As for the idea that the president, and not his lawyers, personally wrote the answers to Mueller’s questions, it’s hard to imagine anyone actually believing this. After the president made the comment, the New York Times’ Maggie Haberman wrote on Twitter, “This is false. A team of his lawyers are writing them.”