President Donald Trump said he will leave decisions on how to handle the Mueller report to the Justice Department, he tells The Daily Caller in an exclusive Oval Office interview.
Asked explicitly whether he would sign off, the president said, “They’ll have to make their decision within the Justice Department. They will make the decision as to what they do.”
Trump also said he had not spoken to Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker about the impending end of the Mueller investigation, declaring flatly, “I never spoke to him about that…I would say that after almost two years, it certainly should be.”
Trump noted that he let the probe continue, despite having the right to end it if he chose, saying, “I could have taken a much different stance, I could have gotten involved in this…I could have terminated everything, I could have ended everything. I’ve chosen to stay out of it…but I had the right to…I had the right to end everything…many people thought that’s what I should do.”
The Daily Caller: Speaking of that, sir, Matt Whitaker came out I think a couple of days ago. He said that the Mueller probe seems to be wrapping up, generally. Has he communicated that to you?
Trump: No. No, I haven’t spoken to him about that. I would say that I think after almost two years it certainly should be. Process crimes or process, you know, questions. The answer is different than what you thought it might be and some people say they lost their memory or a lack of memory, which a lot of people can understand that too.
No, I never spoke to him about that.
The Daily Caller: So Whitaker or whoever is heading as the attorney general at the time will get to make a decision about releasing the report that Mueller sends him —
Trump: I don’t know what —
The Daily Caller: Is that the kind of thing you’ll sign off on if and when it comes to that decision?
Trump: They’ll have to make their decision within the Justice Department. They will make the decision as to what they do. I could’ve taken a much different stance, I could’ve gotten involved in this, I could’ve terminated everything. I could’ve ended everything. I’ve chosen to stay out of it. But I had the right to, as you know, I had the right, if I wanted to, to end everything. I could’ve just said, ‘that’s enough.’ Many people thought that’s what I should do.