Before any interview, Trump and his lawyers must complete their sensitive negotiations with Mueller over its terms. Among other things, Trump’s lawyers have argued that the burden is on Mueller to show his investigation can’t be completed without an interview with the president. They have also studied the feasibility of answering questions in writing, as President Ronald Reagan did during the Iran-Contra scandal. And they have made clear their resistance to Mueller questioning Trump more than once.
In his document requests, Mueller has expressed an interest in subjects ranging from Trump’s firing of FBI director James Comey to how he responded to the theft and leaks of Democratic emails during the 2016 presidential campaign.
“It’s a tug of war both internally and probably with Mueller,” said a senior Republican who recently met with the president. “The end goal for the White House is to get as narrow a discussion as can be possibly negotiated including maybe just answering written questions like Reagan.”