President Trump on Monday sought to cast doubts about an expected report from special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, questioning why his team has not spoken with “hundreds of people” who saw no evidence of coordination with Russians during his 2016 campaign.
In morning tweets, Trump also once again accused Mueller of having conflicts of interest, which he did not describe, and suggested that his report should include recommendations about unspecified “crimes of many kinds” committed by Trump’s adversaries.
“Will he be putting in statements from hundreds of people closely involved with my campaign who never met, saw or spoke to a Russian during this period?” Trump wrote. “So many campaign workers, people inside from the beginning, ask me why they have not been called (they want to be). There was NO Collusion & Mueller knows it!”
The tweets follow Trump’s submission last week of written answers to Mueller about his knowledge of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Prior to doing so, Trump told reporters that he had answered the questions “very easily.”
With the midterm elections now over, Mueller faces key decision points in his 18-month-old investigation into Russian interference in the campaign — a probe that has led to charges against 32 people, including 26 Russians. Four aides to Trump have pleaded guilty to various charges, most recently former campaign chairman Paul Manafort in September.
Another of Trump’s former aides, foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos, was scheduled to report to prison on Monday, after a federal judge rejected a bid to delay the start of his sentence while a constitutional challenge to Mueller’s investigation remains unresolved.
Trump’s responses to a series of questions have been long sought by Mueller as part of his drafting of a confidential report expected to detail his overall findings. Mueller has also been examining whether Trump tried to obstruct the probe.
Though Trump did not say in Monday’s tweets why he believes Mueller is conflicted, aides have pointed in the past to an alleged dispute over membership fees at Trump National Golf Club in Northern Virginia.
Last year, two White House advisers told The Washington Post that Mueller had a dispute over membership fees when he resigned as a club member in 2011. A spokesman for Mueller, who was FBI director at the time, said there was no dispute when Mueller left the club.
In the past, Trump has also cited the fact that Mueller served as FBI director under President Barack Obama, a Democrat.
A registered Republican, Mueller was nominated to the post in 2001 by President George W. Bush, a Republican. In 2011, Obama gave his original 10-year term a two-year extension.
Mueller was tapped to be special counsel last year by Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, a Republican appointee in the Trump administration.
Since installing a new acting attorney general, Matthew G. Whitaker, who is now overseeing Mueller’s investigation, Trump has continued to attack the special counsel and his team.
Earlier this month, the president wrote on Twitter that “the inner workings of the Mueller investigation are a total mess” and called Mueller’s team of lawyers “a disgrace to our Nation.”
Carol D. Leonnig and Josh Dawsey contributed to this report.