The raid on President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer earlier this week “significantly complicated” negotiations between Trump’s legal team and special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators over a potential presidential interview, NBC News reported Thursday evening.
According to several people familiar with the matter who spoke with NBC, both sides are moving forward with the presumption that a Trump interview will likely not take place. Trump’s lawyers and Mueller’s team were reportedly zeroing in on the final details of a potential interview, including negotiating the length of the discussion. One source told NBC that the President’s legal team was talking about hiring someone new to help prepare Trump for an interview.
Now that the interview is likely off, Mueller’s obstruction of justice case may close more quickly than expected because the special counsel’s team won’t need to prepare for the interview or follow up on what Trump would have said during it, NBC reported.
White House lawyer Ty Cobb told NBC Thursday that it was “untrue” that the interview will likely not happen.
Trump has repeatedly publicly claimed he would enthusiastically sit for an interview with Mueller, but he has been increasingly irked by the probe. His frustration increased this week after the FBI raided Michael Cohen’s home, hotel and office. While the raid was executed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, the FBI agents received the warrants after receiving a referral from Mueller.
The FBI reportedly seized documents related to payments made just before the 2016 election to two women — Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal — who allege they had affairs with Trump.
Read the full NBC report here.