Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating Trump’s collusion with Russia during the 2016 election, wants to interview six Trump aides because they may have information relevant to the investigation. He wants to talk to:
Those advisers include:
- Hope Hicks, the interim communications director, who enjoys a close personal relationship to the president;
- Sean Spicer, the former press secretary;
- Reince Priebus, the former chief of staff;
- Don McGahn, the current White House counsel;
- James Burnham, senior associate counsel; and
- Josh Raffel, a top aide who works with Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor.
Each of them, according to the Washington Post, was witness to critical discussions that have drawn Mueller’s scrutiny, including Trump’s decision to fire FBI director James Comey; the administration’s inaction after it was informed that former national security adviser Michael Flynn could be vulnerable to Russian blackmail; and Trump’s role in crafting Donald Trump Jr.’s purposely deceptive and misleading statement about his meeting with a Kremlin-connected lawyer to receive damaging information on Hillary Clinton.
According to Business Insider, Hope Hicks and Josh Ravvel were with Trump on Air Force One in July when he dictated the statement Trump Jr. first issued about his meeting with the Russians. Hicks and Raffel were among the advisers who believed the White House should release a truthful statement that could not be repudiated if more details surfaced later, the Post reported. They were overruled, and Mueller is now scrutinizing Trump’s response to determine what he knew about the meeting and whether he acted to conceal its purpose.
Mueller wants to know about efforts to conceal information during an obstruction of justice investigation, according to CNN. The answers to Mueller’s questions also could explain the level of anxiety surrounding the meeting and the decision-making that followed.