President Donald Trump declared on Monday that has the authority to either assist in or take over the investigation from Special Counsel Robert Mueller that he repeatedly decried as a “witch hunt.”

“I can go in, and I could do whatever — I could run it if I want,” Trump told reporters during an interview in the Oval Office. “But I decided to stay out. I’m totally allowed to be involved if I wanted to be. So far, I haven’t chosen to be involved. I’ll stay out.”

The president also expressed concerns that investigators could compare his statements with those of others who have testified in the special counsel inquiry, such as former FBI Director James Comey, who was leading the probe last May. Trump said any discrepancies in such statements could be used against him. Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, has warned before that any sit-down with Mueller could be a “perjury trap.”

“So if I say something, and he [Comey] says something, and it’s my word against his, and he’s best friends with Mueller, so Mueller might say, ‘Well, I believe Comey,’ and even if I’m telling the truth, that makes me a liar,” Trump said. “That’s no good.”


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Trump has made several moves that could be seen as attempts to curtail the probe, including the dismissal of Comey, calling on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to end the inquiry, and reportedly seeking to fire Mueller in the past. In the interview on Monday, Trump refused to say whether he might strip Mueller of his security clearance, as he did last week to former CIA Director John Brennan.

“I haven’t given it a lot of thought,” the President told Reuters.


Trump’s comments come just two days after The New York Times reported that White House counsel Don McGahn has been cooperating extensively across a series of interviews in Mueller’s investigation.

The president tweeted his views of the probe again on Monday, calling Mueller “disgraced” and an “Angry Democrat.”

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