President Trump said on Wednesday that he was willing to speak under oath to Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential campaign.
“I’m looking forward to it,” Mr. Trump said of talking to Mr. Mueller, ending months of speculation over whether he would submit to questions from the special counsel, who is also believed to be looking into whether the president sought to thwart the inquiry.
Mr. Trump spoke with reporters in the doorway of his chief of staff’s office, an impromptu news conference before he departed for the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
He also said he would be willing to answer questions under oath, but not until after asking whether Hillary Clinton, his 2016 campaign rival, has spoken under oath to the F.B.I. in the investigation into her use of a private email server while she served as secretary of state.
That’s nice, but you can bet that complicated talks are already underway between Trump’s lawyers and Mueller’s team about all the limitations the former want to put on this interview that Trump is supposedly anticipating so eagerly. — gs
* Anne Gearan reports on Trump’s trip to hobnob with the global elite:
President Trump, who warned as a candidate about “the false song of globalism,” is marching straight into the maw of the global beast this week — and he is singing his own tune.
Trump is attending the global economic conclave in Davos, Switzerland, not because he has come around to the views broadly shared by the sort of international financial elite, government figures and academics who gather annually in a Swiss ski town.
He is going because he wants to say, “I told you so.”
After a year in office, “America First,” the nativist cry that helped propel Trump to the presidency, is the backbone of a Trump economic and foreign policy Trump is expected to argue has benefited the United States exactly the way he said it would.
I think he’s really going because he wants all these rich people to kiss his butt. Which might not happen.
The Justice Department on Wednesday escalated its attempt to crack down on so-called “sanctuary” jurisdictions, threatening to subpoena 23 states, cities and other localities which have policies the department suspects might be unlawfully interfering with immigration enforcement.
President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions have long promised to target places with policies friendly to those in the country illegally — warning they might withhold federal money from some and trying to tie grant eligibility to cooperation with federal authorities on immigration matters. The Justice Department had previously contacted the 23 jurisdictions threatened Wednesday, raising worries they might be in violation of a federal law barring places from enacting policies that block communication with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
In a new letter, Bureau of Justice Assistance Director Jon Adler said officials remained “concerned” that the places had policies that violate the law, even after their previous responses. He asked for a new bevy of documents — including “any orders, directives, instructions, or guidance to your law enforcement employees” — and said the department would subpoena the materials if necessary.
That threat escalates the department’s effort, as it could have the courts compelling jurisdictions to turn over documents that they didn’t provide voluntarily.
If you’re wondering why Sessions endures President Trump’s insults and humiliations, it’s because the idea of going after immigrants and pot-smoking hippies makes him warm all over. He’ll never leave that job voluntarily.
* A new Quinnipiac poll finds that voters want Democrats to control the House (by a 13-point margin) and the Senate (by a 14-point margin), and 75 percent say Dreamers should be allowed to stay in the U.S.
* Jordain Carney reports that John Cornyn, the second-ranking Republican in the Senate, says they’re going to need at least one more continuing resolution before they can settle the budget. And maybe one after that…and one after that…
* And Kurt Bardella argues that if Democrats are “complicit” in every murder committed by an undocumented immigrant, as the Trump reelection campaign charges in a new ad, then Republicans are complicit in every one of the far, far more numerous murders committed with guns.