WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said in an interview on Thursday that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had assured his lawyers that the president was not a target of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe, the New York Times reported.
Trump also said he had never spoken with his longtime political ally Roger Stone about WikiLeaks and the stolen Democratic Party emails it made public during the 2016 U.S. election campaign, nor had he directed anyone to do so, the Times said.
“He told the attorneys that I’m not a subject, I’m not a target,” Trump said of Rosenstein’s comment about the Mueller probe, according to the Times.
Mueller is leading an investigation into what U.S. intelligence agencies have said was Russian interference in the 2016 election to help Trump win the presidency, and possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
Trump calls the investigation a witch hunt and denies any collusion with Russia, Moscow denies meddling in the election.
Stone pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to charges that he tried to obstruct a congressional investigation into the allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Charging documents after Stone’s arrest a week ago alleged a senior Trump campaign official “was directed to contact Stone about any additional releases and what other damaging information” WikiLeaks had about the campaign of Trump’s Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.
The Times said when Trump was asked whether he had spoken with Stone about WikiLeaks and the stolen emails, he said, “No, I didn’t. I never did.”
Asked whether he had directed anyone to get in touch with Stone about WikiLeaks, Trump said, “Never did,” according to the Times.
Reporting by Eric Beech; Writing by Mohammad Zargham; Editing by Sandra Maler