Donald Trump says he wrote answers to Mueller’s questions

US President Donald Trump said Friday that he had written answers to questions submitted to the White House by the Russian Federation probe of Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Trump told reporters in the Oval Office that he answered the questions "very easily" this week about the special counsel's ongoing probe into 2016 election interference and possible ties between Russian Federation and the president's campaign. Though the president at one point said he would be willing to speak with Mueller, he eventually reneged on his offer on the advice of lawyers, who fear he will not be able to deal with prolonged questioning.

Mr Mueller is investigating whether members of Trump's campaign conspired with Russian Federation in the 2016 presidential election and whether the President has unlawfully sought to obstruct the probe.

During months of negotiations with the special counsel office, Mr Trump's lawyers have repeatedly counselled the president against sitting down for an in-person interview.

Mr Trump's team of lawyers agreed to have the president submit written answers to questions relating to Russia's role in the election.

"I write answers. My lawyers don't write answers".

There is also the criticism he is getting over his choice for acting attorney general, as well as late-arriving election results that have largely been tipping towards House Democrats.

On Thursday the president let loose a tirade against Mueller on Twitter, alleging the investigation by the former FBI director was politically biased and had used threats against witnesses.

U.S. President Donald Trump talks to the media on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington U.S. before his departure to California
Donald Trump says he wrote answers to Mueller’s questions

Earlier this week, Trump attacked Mueller's team in a series of tweets, accusing them of "threatening" people to cooperate in the investigation. Although its investigation is a "hoax", he said, Trump also said he has heard it will probably wrap up soon and that "I'm sure it would be fine".

Rumors are reverberating that Mueller may be preparing more indictments and there has been widespread media coverage of two Trump allies - Roger Stone and Jerome Corsi - who say they expect to be charged.

Tensions have risen even higher over the probe since Trump last week ousted Jeff Sessions as USA attorney general and named Matthew Whitaker as his replacement on an acting basis.

Mr Whitaker has been a vocal opponent of the special counsel probe.

Trump claimed the "inner workings" of the investigations is a "total mess" and it has gone "completely nuts".

No comments were available from the special counsel's office and the Justice Department.

Gov. Jerry Brown and Gov. -elect Gavin Newsom, both Democrats, have welcomed Mr. Trump's visit, declaring it's time "to pull together for the people of California". Cohen has pleaded guilty to a series of crimes and has said under oath that Trump ordered him to make hush-money payments to cover up an affair.

The renewed focus on the looming threat from Mueller comes as Trump settles back into the day-to-day routines of governing after the whirlwind campaign in which he spent weeks in front of adoring rally crowds while whipping up his base with harsh rhetoric about migrants moving through Mexico.

  • Jon Douglas