WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani said Friday that special counsel Robert Mueller’s team has narrowed the scope of the subjects for a potential questioning of the president to two of five broad areas previously outlined. Giuliani did not specify what those areas were.
Giuliani, speaking on CNN, said the special counsel’s office had sent a communication to Trump’s lawyers Wednesday “narrowing the subjects down to about two,” and that they do not include Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen.
Mueller referred information about Cohen to the U.S. attorney in Manhattan earlier this year. Giuliani said it is possible that the issue of Cohen will come up but only if they find a connection to the president.
“The main focus that we want, I can tell you, is simply Russia — is there a connection with Russia,” Giuliani said.
He added he thinks published reports on the Justice Department inspector general’s review of the investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia will show “that as of the beginning of the Mueller investigation, after 100 days investigation, the FBI found no connection with President Trump for Russia.”
Meanwhile, Trump repeated claims that federal law officials spied on him during his presidential campaign in a tweet Friday morning, quoting a Fox News anchor’s assertion that the Justice Department is “out to frame him.”
Trump, who has repeatedly called the investigation by Mueller a “witch hunt,” wrote in his Friday morning tweet that the allegations discussed by Fox News anchor David Asman were “Really bad stuff!”
Trump wrote, quoting Asman, “Apparently the DOJ put a Spy in the Trump Campaign. This has never been done before and by any means necessary, they are out to frame Donald Trump for crimes he didn’t commit.”
But Giuliani told CNN, “I don’t know for sure, nor does the pres, if there was an informant.” If there was, Giuliani said, he would clear the president.
Yet Trump then posted a new tweet a little later on Friday morning: “Reports are there was indeed at least one FBI representative implanted, for political purposes, into my campaign for president. It took place very early on, and long before the phony Russia Hoax became a “hot” Fake News story. If true - all time biggest political scandal!”
Asked about that report, an FBI spokesman said, “We have no comment.”
An article in the National Review has suggested there was an FBI spy planted in the Trump campaign, based on the work of Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, who has pushed hard for the Justice Department to reveal the source that started the Mueller investigation.
An informant for the FBI met several times with Trump’s campaign foreign policy advisers Carter Page and George Papadopoulos, who had contacts with Russian officials, according to a New York Times report.
In a tweet Thursday, Trump cited the National Review article, suggesting that the FBI source was really a “confidential informant in the campaign.”
“If so, this is bigger than Watergate!” he tweeted.
On Friday, Trump also took another shot at Andrew McCabe, the former FBI deputy director fired for lying to internal investigators about unauthorized disclosures to reporters, alleging that he dropped a probe into Hillary Clinton in return for campaign funds for his wife’s bid for office.
“Why isn’t disgraced FBI official Andrew McCabe being investigated for the $700,000 Crooked Hillary Democrats in Virginia, led by Clinton best friend Terry M (under FBI investigation that they killed) gave to McCabe’s wife in her run for office? Then dropped case on Clinton!”
The FBI has cleared McCabe on the allegations raised by Trump. The agency said McCabe had consulted with officials on the possible conflict of interest and had been excluded from cases in Virginia where his wife was running for the state Senate. He didn’t take oversight of the Clinton probe until after his wife had lost the election.
In another tweet Friday morning, Trump complained that some news media outlets unfairly reported he called all immigrants who came to the United States illegally “animals.”
“Fake News Media had me calling Immigrants, or Illegal Immigrants, ‘Animals.’ Wrong! They were begrudgingly forced to withdraw their stories. I referred to MS 13 Gang Members as ‘Animals,’ a big difference - and so true. Fake News got it purposely wrong, as usual!,” he tweeted.
Later Friday morning, Trump and Vice President Mike Pence will discuss prison reform.