Transcript for Special counsel seeking interview with Trump: Sources
latest on the Russia investigation and here with Jon Karl, our chief legal analyst Dan Abrams, Meghan McCain from "The view" and learned Rick Gates has now hired a new attorney to hold discussions with Mueller's team. This attorney has a track record of negotiating plea agreement. This is a potentially big deal because Rick Gates was a very key player on the trump campaign, of course, very close to Paul manafort but he stayed at the campaign after manafort left, close to Jared Kushner, close to Tom Barrick, another one of the president's key advisers. If he goes state's witness that could be a game changer. Mueller moving step by step. This is something I think many have suspected because there's a bit of a difference in the way federal prosecutors have been dealing with manafort and Gates leading some to expect there were ongoing consideration, possibly suggests going on with Gates that have not been going on with manafort. We've also learned, Jon, that Mueller has interviewed the attorney general, Jeff sessions, and several other cabinet member, the director of the CIA and national intelligence, former director of the national security agency moving closer and closer to the president. And know Mueller's team has made it clear they want to talk to the president directly about the firings of James Comey and Michael Flynn and the key fact is he is now interviewed, we know, key members of the trump inner circle in his cabinet. After news broke that Mueller's investigation has reached into the president's cabinet, the president said he isn't worried in the least. Mr. President, are you concerned about what the attorney general told the special counsel? No, I'm not at all concerned. Not at all. Reporter: Attorney general sessions was questioned by the special counsel's team for hours. Nearly a year after he told lawmakers at his confirmation hearing that he had no contact with the Russians when he was senior adviser to the trump campaign. And I didn't have -- did not have communications with the Russians. Reporter: That turned out to be untrue. He had met with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. After that became public, sessions citing his senior role in the trump campaign announced that he would not be overseeing the Russia investigation. Therefore, I have recused myself. Reporter: Sources familiar with sessions' appearance before the special counsel tell ABC news that sessions was questioned about his conversations with the ambassador and about the firing of former FBI director James Comey. Comey himself has been interviewed by the special counsel's team. Comey's interview focused on the memos he wrote after he said the president asked him to take a pledge of loyalty. Last June, the president said he was more than willing to discuss that meeting with the special counsel himself. So, if Robert Mueller wanted to speak with you about that -- I would be glad to tell him exactly what I just told you, Jon. Reporter: It's unclear whether the president's offer which he said 100% he'd be willing to do that still stands. People close to the president have urged him to fight the special counsel's request for a sworn interview. Meanwhile, we've learned last year the president lashed out at deputy FBI director Andrew Mccabe demanding to know, George, who he voted for, Mccabe said he actually didn't vote in the presidential elections. The questions he reportedly asked James Comey about whether he'd be loyal. Dan, we now see the interviews that sessions -- I mean that Robert Mueller has conducted so far. The whole question of the interview with the president now on the table and you still see some on the president's team according to this trying to -- thinking about negotiating written questions. That's not going to fly with Mueller. No, and so what the president would like is probably written only or no questions at all but his team would certainly say, look, send us your questions. We'll be happy to answer them in writing and the lawyers can edit them, et cetera. What Mueller's team wants is a full, no limits, no holds barred interview where they can talk about anything they want. The question is going to be can they work out something in between? Are they going to be able to work out something where they can ask him certain things and they'll answer other questions in writing. I don't think Mueller's team is going to go for that and that's where you have the potential showdown. That's where you have -- if they can't reach a deal you have the possibility that the president gets subpoenaed to testify in front of a grand jury and his response may be, I'm just not coming. I'm not going to go to the grand jury. You don't have that power to do that and then you have a really interesting legal showdown. Then precedents of president Clinton going to the grand jury 20 years ago. Meghan, you see president trump and his allies on capitol hill putting more pressure on the FBI and Mueller. Yeah, I think we need to be careful going into midterm elections with the implications that possibly Republicans think anything that happens in this investigation is okay. What's interesting to me is Sarah Huckabee Sanders coming out saying Americans don't care. This is a nothing burger. The problem is every time we're told this is a nothing burger another tentacle comes out and the average American, even the trumpiest trump voter wants to know what happened in this investigation and I think we have to be as clear and trans parent as possible and anyone taking cover or giving cover to the president if he did, in fact, have the kind of interactions with Russia and ambassador kislyak that are being propositioned could be lethal if you talk about prime time television with president trump testifying in front of congress, you want to talk about getting off message and getting off policywise where we need to be will be lethal. The one thing we know for sure is we don't know everything that Mueller knows. True in that is certain, no
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