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Trump Says His Lawyers Assured He Is Not Target Of Mueller Probe

U.S. President Donald Trump

WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Donald Trump says in an interview that his lawyers have been assured he is not a "subject" of the investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into Russian meddling in U.S. elections.

In an interview with The New York Times published late on January 31, Trump said his lawyers have been reassured by the outgoing deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein, that he himself was not a target of the wide-ranging probe.

"He told the attorneys that I'm not a subject. I'm not a target," Trump was quoted by The New York Times as saying.

When asked if that were also true about a separate investigation by federal prosecutors in New York, Trump responded, "I don't know about that."

Trump also told The New York Times he did not direct anyone to speak with Roger Stone about WikiLeaks and stolen Democratic Party e-mails.

“No, I didn’t. I never did,” he said.

When asked if he ever directed anyone to get in touch with Stone about WikiLeaks, he responded, “Never did.”

Stone, a longtime Trump ally, was arrested on January 25 by the FBI and charged with seven criminal counts connected to Mueller's Russia investigation.

The indictment against Stone detailed his alleged discussions about stolen Democratic e-mails posted by WikiLeaks in the weeks before Trump beat Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton.

The indictment alleged that top members of the Trump campaign were in contact with Stone and sought information on when damaging e-mails related to Clinton would be made public. It did not disclose the names of the "senior" campaign officials.

Mueller has been tasked with leading a probe into Russia's interference in the 2016 elections and possible interactions between Trump associates and Russian officials.

Trump has denied any collusion with Russia, and Moscow has denied that it interfered in the U.S. election.

The New York Times said the interview with Trump took place in the Oval Office at the White House on January 31.

The newspaper said the interview was arranged after Trump reached out to New York Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger and invited him for an off-the-record dinner. Sulzberger declined, suggesting instead he would prefer an on-the-record interview that included two of his reporters, and the president agreed.

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