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Trump Declares Willingness to be Interviewed by Special Counsel


FILE - U.S. President Donald Trump talks with reporters in the Oval Office of the White House, March 15, 2018.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday indicated willingness to testify before the special counsel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and other matters.

"I would like to," Trump replied when asked by a reporter whether he was willing to be interviewed by investigators.

The president made the remark as he exited the White House Diplomatic Room after signing a document directing his administration to pursue trade actions against China.

WATCH: Trump Lawyer Resigns as Democrats Issue New Warning on Russia Probe

Trump Lawyer Resigns as Democrats Issue New Warning on Russia Probe
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Trump's response came after one of his personal attorneys, John Dowd, confirmed he was stepping down.

Dowd is known to have counseled Trump against sitting for an interview with those working for the special counsel, Robert Mueller, a former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

FILE - Attorney John Dowd is pictured in New York, April 29, 20111.
FILE - Attorney John Dowd is pictured in New York, April 29, 20111.

Less than a week ago, Dowd called on the Justice Department — which oversees the FBI and the special counsel — to end the Russia investigation. Initially, Dowd said he was speaking for the president, but he then clarified his remarks were not being made on behalf of the president.

DiGenova added

Dowd's departure came days after the president added to his team of lawyers Joseph diGenova, a former U.S. attorney known for pushing a more aggressive legal strategy.

There also is speculation at the White House that the president is seeking to replace another member of his legal team, Ty Cobb.

On social media this week, Trump has assailed the special counsel, which is also seeking to determine the extent of contact between Russians and Trump associates during the election, as well as whether the president has obstructed the criminal investigation.

Trump contends the team conducting the inquiry, which he calls a "witch hunt," is stacked with opposition Democrats.

Trump this week also alleged "tremendous leaking, lying and corruption" at the highest levels of the FBI, Justice Department and State Department.

The FBI is headed by lawyer and Trump appointee Christopher Wray, who last year replaced James Comey, whom the president fired in May. Comey's firing reportedly is a subject of interest to the special counsel's team.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a former U.S. senator also chosen by Trump, heads the Justice Department and has recused himself from matters involving Mueller's investigation.

Trump this month fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, whom he appointed at the beginning of his presidency in 2017, and he has nominated Mike Pompeo, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, to succeed Tillerson.

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