Trump defends decision not to sit for an in-person interview with Mueller: Part 5

Trump told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos that what former White House counsel Don McGahn told Mueller "doesn't matter" because "I was never going to fire Mueller. I never suggested firing Mueller."
6:50 | 06/17/19

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Transcript for Trump defends decision not to sit for an in-person interview with Mueller: Part 5
You could win up to a million bucks. Hello. Our 30 hours with the president has taken us from Iowa to the oval. We've covered a lot of ground on a range of topics. But one specific topic is clearly on his mind. Read the report. The president repeatedly brings up the Russia investigation unprompted. But he still hasn't addressed the big question that Robert Mueller did not answer. Did president trump obstruct justice, break the law? We talked about Russia. But we haven't talked about Robert Mueller's evidence on obstruction of justice. The attorney general said you didn't commit obstruction of justice. Robert Mueller said he's not reaching a decision -- could not exonerate you. And he laid out all that evidence. More than 1,000 former federal prosecutors -- Oh, that's -- but they're all politicians. Hey George, look, I know more about prosecutors than you'll ever know. They're politicians. I could get you 5,000 that would also say that there's nothing. You know, I saw their names. And these are all -- many of them are trump haters. Many of them if you look at the names. Many Republicans, too -- I've been treated so unfairly 'cause I never did anything. There was no crime. The crime was committed by the Democrats. It was committed by your friend Hillary Clinton. The crime was committed by them. The crime was committed by Comey and all of these people. I've been very unfairly treated. Even a question like that's unfair. Mr. President, there's nothing unfair about the question. No special counsel should have ever been appointed. You know why? 'Cause there was no crime. But he -- They had no -- excuse me. They had no evidence of crime. He lays out a lot of evidence, including the episode where you ask your white house counsel, don mcgahn -- you tell him, "Mueller has to go." You call him twice and say, "Mueller has to go. Call me when it's done." The story on that very simply, number one, I was never gonna fire Mueller. I never suggested firing Mueller. That's not what he says. I don't care what he says. It doesn't matter. That was to show everyone what a good counsel he was. Now, he may have gotten confused with the fact that I've always said, Robert Mueller was conflicted. He had numerous conflicts. One of them was the fact that he applied for the job to be the FBI -- the head of the FBI. And, by the way -- Steve Bannon said he didn't. That's in the report -- Steve Bannon wouldn't know. Steve Bannon has no idea. Steve Bannon was not in the room. He was conflicted because we had a business transaction where I wouldn't give him back a deposit -- But Mueller writes about that. Steve Bannon told you it was ridiculous. Steve Bannon doesn't even know about it or hardly would know about it. But he had a total conflict. He also happened to have a very good friendship and relationship with Comey. Right then and there he's conflicted. Why would don mcgahn lie, why lie under oath? Because he wanted to make himself look like a good lawyer. Or he believed it because I would constantly tell anybody that would listen, including you, including the media, that Robert Mueller was conflicted. Robert Mueller had a total conflict of interest. And has to go? I never -- I didn't say that. Article two would have allowed me to fire him. So it sounds like you -- But I wasn't gonna fire. You know why? Because I watched Richard Nixon go around firing everybody, and that didn't work out too well. So very simply, article two would allow me to do it. In our time together the president repeatedly invoked article two of the U.S. Constitution, which gives him authority over the entire executive branch, and he contends, the power to have fired Mueller. You talk about article two. So your position is that you can hire or fire anybody, stop or start -- That is the position of a lot of great lawyers. That's the position of some of the most talented lawyers. And you have to have a position like that because you're the president. But without even bringing up article two, which absolutely gives you every right -- So a president can't obstruct justice? A president can run the country. And that's what happened, George. I run the country, and I run it well. When the president does it, it's not illegal? I'm just saying a president under article two -- it's very strong. Read it. Do you have article two? Read it. I know what article two says. Read it. No, read it. Read it for your audience. It talks about executive power. But if you answer these questions to me now, why not answer them to Robert Mueller under oath? Because they were looking to get us for lies or slight misstatements. I looked at what happened to people, and it was very unfair. Very, very unfair. Very unfair. You're not worried about being prosecuted once you leave office? Did nothing wrong, George. Did nothing wrong. There was no collusion. You don't even hear Russia mentioned anymore. Russia's not mentioned. Now, it's all about obstruct. Obstruction of what? They built up a phony crime. They hired a man that hated trump. What kind of a rigged deal is this? You didn't answer questions on obstruction. Wait a minute. Wait a minute. I did answer questions. I answered them in writing. Not on obstruction. I don't know about this -- I don't know. I answered a lot of questions. They gave me questions. I answered them in writing. Not on obstruction. Look, George, you're being a little wise guy, okay -- which is, you know, typical for you. Just so you understand. Very simple. It's very simple. There was no crime. There was no collusion. It was a setup. In my opinion, and I think it's gonna come out. Who set it up? I hope it's gonna come out. We're gonna find out very soon. You clearly believe there was a group of people working against you. Do you think president Obama was behind it? I would say that he certainly must have known about it because it went very high up in the chain. I'm not gonna make that statement quite yet. But I would say that president Obama had to know about it. How are you gonna put this behind you? Well, I would put it behind. I wouldn't have answered any of these questions. I wouldn't have made the statement except you start off with your first question is about this. I had a ton of questions. You get immediately onto this. People are fixated. No collusion, no obstruction. Because the attorney general, who's a great gentleman and a highly respected man, based on the evidence given said there's no obstruction here. Your hand-picked attorney general. Agreed with him. Rod Rosenstein -- which is a big thing. He agreed with him. And you think that's the final word? You're not worried about what happens in congress? Look, the Republicans in the senate, every single one of them that I see know this is a witch hunt. They get it 100%. And that's what matters. The Democrats are gonna do it only because they might think it helps them. I think it actually hurts them in the election. But there's never been a time in the history of our country where somebody was so mistreated as I have been. And this should never, ever be allowed to happen to another president again. A previous administration used the intelligence data and the intelligence agencies to spy on my campaign. Do you believe that president Obama spied on your campaign? I don't know. But hopefully we're gonna find out.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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