Blumenthal slams Trump for failing to commit to a Mueller interview

Kyle Constable / file photo

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal

Washington – Sen. Richard Blumenthal on Wednesday slammed President Trump for declining to say whether he would grant an interview to special counsel Robert Mueller and his team, who are investigating any possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign.

“The president’s statement about potentially avoiding a Special Counsel interview seems to disregard both fact and law,” Blumenthal said in a statement. “The Special Counsel will almost certainly need to speak directly with President Trump – under oath – for his investigation to be complete and credible.”

During a news conference at the White House Wednesday after a meeting with Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg, Trump was asked by a reporter whether he’d meet with Mueller and his team of investigators.

“We’ll see what happens,” Trump replied.

Trump also questioned why he would be interviewed, arguing again there had been “no collusion” between his campaign and Russia.

“When they have no collusion — and nobody’s found any collusion at any level — it seems unlikely that you’d even have an interview,” Trump said.

After firing former FBI director James Comey last summer, Trump said he would be willing to testify under oath to dispute Comey’s claims, including the assertion the president had asked him for his loyalty.

Blumenthal, who is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee conducting a separate Russia probe, said, “The president has a moral and legal duty to cooperate.”

“The Watergate-era case of U.S. v. Nixon established the principle that the president has a duty to comply with subpoenas for documents or other evidence,” Blumenthal said, adding that four recent presidents have provided interviews or grand jury testimony.

“If the president has nothing to hide, he should have no reluctance to answer questions about collusion between his campaign and Russian interference, and obstruction of justice,” Blumenthal said.