Mueller Warns White House of Plans to Interview Six Trump Aides
Pending interviews with members of the president's inner cirlce indicate the "FBI's wide-ranging probe into the Trump White House and campaign is intensifying"
Citing "people familiar with the request," the Washington Post reported late Friday afternoon that Special Counsel Robert Mueller III has told the White House he would like to interview six current and former members of President Donald Trump's inner circle, including former press secretary Sean Spicer and former chief of staff Reince Priebus.
Although no interviews have been scheduled yet, Mueller warned he also will likely seek interviews with interim White House communications director Hope Hicks and Josh Raffel, a White House spokesman who works closely with President Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior advisor, Jared Kushner, as well as White House counsel Don McGahn and one of his deputies, James Burnham, the Post reports.
According to Politico, which also reported on the development, "the upcoming interviews are a sign that the FBI's wide-ranging probe into the Trump White House and campaign is intensifying."
"The staffers Mueller is targeting are all part of Trump's inner circle," notes Shane Savitsky at Axios, "and were involved with either the response to Michael Flynn's undisclosed contacts with Russian officials, or crafting the response to Donald Trump Jr.'s Trump Tower meeting with Russians, showing the key incidents on which Mueller's investigation is focusing."
In a report published by CNN late Thursday, which did not name the six aides, three sources claimed Mueller is targeting staffers who were aboard Air Force One when the administration concocted Don Jr.'s initial misleading statement about meeting with a Russian lawyer who claimed to have dirt on Hillary Clinton during the campaign. The statement was released in response to a series of explosive reports published by the New York Times in July.
"Ultimately," the Post reports, "according to people familiar with the discussions, the president dictated language for the statement that his son would release to the New York Times." Don Jr. was questioned about the meeting by the Senate Judiciary Committee for five hours on Thursday.