Trump Dodges Q’s On Whether He’s Worked For Russia, If He’ll Suppress Mueller Report

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In a nighttime phone interview televised live on Fox News Saturday, President Donald Trump leaned heavily on misinformation and talking points, but notably declined to say he’d never worked for Russia, and dodged a question on whether he would try to prevent special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian election meddling from being made public.

The interview went on for more than 20 minutes and took place during Fox News host Jeanine Pirro’s 9 p.m. ET slot. Many of the President’s talking points were rehearsed: “A lot of the people that aren’t getting their checks are letting us know, ‘We don’t care, you’ve got to solve the crisis at the border,’” he said of the 800,000 federal workers currently furloughed due to the partial government. (According to a recent poll, a large majority of federal employees oppose the shutdown, and just 30 percent support Trump’s desired border wall.)

“I haven’t actually left the White House in months,” Trump said at one point, apparently forgetting that he’d toured the border just two days earlier, on Thursday.

Things got interesting when Pirro asked about recent reports from The New York Times and Washington Post.

“Are you now, or have you ever worked for Russia, Mr. President?” Pirro asked at one point, referring to the Times’ reporting that Trump’s firing of then-FBI Director James Comey led to an FBI probe of whether Trump was working for Russia.

Trump didn’t answer directly.

“I think it’s the most insulting thing I’ve ever been asked,” he said. “I think it’s the most insulting article I’ve ever had written.”

Regarding the Washington Post’s reporting that he tried to shield details of his meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin from others in his administration — including by taking an interpreter’s notes after one such meeting and instructing the interpreter not to talk about the meeting — Trump claimed: “I’m not keeping anything under wraps, I couldn’t care less.”

“Anybody could have listened to that meeting,” he said of a closed-door, one-on-one meeting with Putin in Helsinki. “That meeting is open for grabs.”

But, apparently, it’s not: Several unnamed officials, according to the Post, “said they were never able to get a reliable readout of the president’s two-hour meeting in Helsinki.”

Pirro asked Trump toward the end of the interview: “Are your lawyers working to keep the Mueller report from being made public?”

“Well, I can’t tell you because I don’t devote too much time,” Trump said, without completing the sentence.

“Here’s the bottom line: There was no collusion.”

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