Did Cohen Raid Dash Hopes for a Mueller-Trump Sit-Down?

NBC says talks have broken down after raid on attorney office
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 13, 2018 11:37 AM CDT
Did Cohen Raid Dash Hopes for a Mueller-Trump Sit-Down?
In this June 21, 2017, file photo, special counsel Robert Mueller departs after a meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

President Trump said in January that he was "looking forward" to chatting under oath with Robert Mueller in the special counsel's Russia investigation, but that possibility may have vanished this week after talks between the two sides fell apart and both sides started to mull how to move forward without such an interview, sources tell NBC News. Those said to be in the loop said the final specifics were starting to be hammered out, including how long the interview would be and when. Trump's attorneys reportedly wanted his sit-down to last no more than a few hours, and for Mueller to write his report within four months of their talk. One source even said plans were in the works to retain extra legal aid to help Trump get ready for the interview.

But everything was apparently derailed after the FBI raid Monday on the home, offices, and hotel room of Michael Cohen, Trump's personal attorney—an event that "significantly complicated" negotiations, one source said. Still, that same source says "never say never" on an interview, while White House attorney Ty Cobb tells NBC that reports on interview talks completely shutting down are "untrue." Meanwhile, although CNN reports on a new Quinnipiac poll indicating that, for the first time, more than half of GOP voters (54%) don't think Mueller's probe is a fair one, the Washington Post cites its own poll with ABC News that finds most Americans overall (almost 70%) support the special counsel's probe into possible collusion with Russia. (Cohen may have some big trouble ahead.)

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