"I was not going to fire (Mueller), you know why, because I saw Richard Nixon chasing everyone and that did not work very well," Trump said in a statement. interview with George Stephanopoulos, ABC, Sunday.
The Mueller report describes how Trump attempted to fire the special advocate, although he stated in the interview with ABC News that he was not going to fire Mueller. .
According to the report, Trump reportedly asked White House lawyer Don McGahn to remove Mueller. Instead of following the order, McGahn prepared a resignation letter, briefed his deputies and quickly contacted his personal solicitor. Despite this incident and other efforts by Trump to impede the investigation, Mueller was allowed to complete his work.
During the interview, Trump insisted that he was entitled to dismiss Mueller – if he had so decided – from Article II of the Constitution, declaring to Stephanopoulos that "Article II allows me to do anything I want to fire him."
In letters to the Special Council, Trump's lawyers argued that Article II fundamentally protected Trump from any investigation, even for taking legally authorized measures. This includes the dismissal of the FBI director, as he had done with the then director, James Comey, in May 2017.
Mueller categorically rejected this argument when Trump's lawyers attempted to present it. The Mueller report notes that the Constitution does not give Trump unlimited powers, and specifically does not give him the ability to circumvent federal investigations and eventual Congressional accountability.
Trump also spoke in the interview Trump Tower Moscow, the caller plus a "concept" that a deal.
"I did not even reach an agreement in Moscow," Trump told Stephanopoulos, who lobbied the president for the deal to be concluded, saying he was pursuing one.
Trump replied, "Excuse me, continue, what does it mean to continue, do you know that I do not even think they had a site, I do not even think they knew who would make the deal. a concept of agreement, more than a concept, it was a concept of agreement somewhere in Russia, probably in Moscow, and I was looking at places all over the world. "
Michael Cohen, a former Trump lawyer, is currently serving a three-year jail sentence, in part for being found guilty of lying to the Congress on the Trump Tower project in Moscow. And last week, the president's son, Donald Trump Jr., testified before Congress about the project, saying that he had not paid attention to it because it was about One of the many potential contracts in progress, according to one source. near Trump Jr.
Cohen led efforts during the 2016 presidential campaign to build a Trump project in Moscow and even asked the Kremlin for help, according to the Mueller report. The project did not take place. Trump said during the campaign that he had no interest in Russia and that he had not acknowledged Moscow's unsuccessful efforts until it was in power.
CNN's Jeremy Herb, Manu Raju and Kara Scannell contributed to this report.