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Trump asked special counsel witnesses about discussions: Source

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After a meeting with special counsel‘s team, President Donald Trump asked his then-chief of staff Reince Priebus how the meeting went, a source familiar with the conversation has confirmed to ABC News.

The encounter is just one example of the president ignoring the advice of his attorneys and asking witnesses about their interviews with the special counsel’s team regarding the ongoing probe.

PHOTO: Don McGahn, lawyer for Donald Trump and his campaign, leaves the Four Seasons Hotel after a meeting with Trump and Republican donors, June 9, 2016. in New York City. Drew Angerer/Getty Images, FILE
Don McGahn, lawyer for Donald Trump and his campaign, leaves the Four Seasons Hotel after a meeting with Trump and Republican donors, June 9, 2016. in New York City.

During their conversation, Trump asked Priebus if the special counsel’s team had been “nice” and if he was treated fairly, according to the source. The source described the encounter as a small portion of a larger conversation about other topics.

The New York Times was first to report the interactions between Trump and members of his team, including Priebus and White House counsel Donald F. McGahn II.

In the meeting with McGahn — also confirmed to ABC News via a source with knowledge of the conversation — Trump encouraged the White House counsel to issue a statement denying a New York Times article in January that the president once asked him to fire special counsel Robert Mueller. McGahn never released a statement.

PHOTO: Then-White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus listens at right as President Donald Trump speaks to reporters on Air Force One while traveling to Palm Beach International Airport in West Palm Beach, Fla., Friday, Feb. 3, 2017.APAP Photo/Susan Walsh
Then-White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus listens at right as President Donald Trump speaks to reporters on Air Force One while traveling to Palm Beach International Airport in West Palm Beach, Fla., Friday, Feb. 3, 2017.

Priebus and McGahn’s lawyer, declined to comment. Lawyers for the president have not responded to ABC News.

Sources close to the president said they do not believe this could be deemed as any form of witness intimidation because the conversations happened after the individuals met with the special counsel team and were not substantive in nature.

However, the timing comes as the president’s legal team is in active negotiations for what the president will do with the Mueller team, which could include an in-person interview — but no final decisions have been made.



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