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Trump says he has answered Mueller questions

President Trump said Friday he has completed answering written questions for special counsel Robert Mueller, but has not yet submitted them to the man leading the Russia investigation.

Trump told reporters in the Oval Office he personally wrote his answers, a critical step in the ongoing probe into Moscow's interference in 2016 and possible ties to the Trump campaign. But the delay in turning them in indicates Trump is still consulting with his legal team.

“I’ve answered them very easily,” the president said. “The questions were very routinely answered by me.”


But Trump also expressed concern about how the special counsel's team plans to use his answers, saying some questions appear to be “tricked up” and designed to catch him in a perjury trap.

“You always have to be careful when you answer questions with people that probably have bad intentions,” he said.

Trump chalked up the delay to the fact he is “busy.”

“I haven’t submitted them,” he said. “I just finished them.”

Trump did not say when he plans to hand over his answers to Mueller. After a lengthy negotiation, the special counsel's office has reportedly indicated it is willing to accept written answers from Trump about possible collusion with the Kremlin.

But Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, told The Washington Post this week that he finds some questions problematic.

“There are some that create more issues for us legally than others,” Giuliani said, calling some “unnecessary,” others “possible traps” and several “we might consider ... as irrelevant.”

Trump has spent several hours this week meeting with his lawyers as they go over the questions, but said he is the one who calls the final shots.

“I write the answers. My lawyers don't write answers,” he said.

The president revealed the steps intended to cooperate with the special counsel's requests even as he continued to denounce the probe as unnecessary and a waste of taxpayer dollars.

He denied that a string of fiery tweets accusing Mueller's team, without evidence, of “screaming and shouting” at witnesses and “horribly threatening” them during testimony, was based on his fear of what the special counsel might find.

“I’m not agitated. It’s a hoax,” Trump said, adding that he is “very happy” because of the strong economy and other White House accomplishments.

With the midterm elections over, Washington is anticipating the next moves in Mueller's sprawling investigation. Cable news networks have speculated about whom the special counsel might charge next and whether it could be a member of Trump's inner circle.

Jerome Corsi, a longtime confidant of Trump ally Roger Stone, said this week he expects to be charged by Mueller.

Corsi is one of several people questioned by Mueller's investigators probing Stone's ties to WikiLeaks, which released troves of emails stolen from Democratic political groups by the Russians during the 2016 campaign.

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