The Russian collusion investigation may be approaching a critical juncture, as President Trump says he's preparing to submit written answers to special counsel Robert Mueller in the probe, and said in a Fox News interview that he is standing behind his acting attorney general, Matthew Whitaker.
Trump says he's writing out the answers himself and preparing to submit them to Mueller's team. He also stopped just short of ruling out a sit-down interview with the special counsel.
"I think we've wasted enough time on this witch hunt and the answer is probably, we're finished," Trump said. "There was no collusion whatsoever, and the whole thing was a scam."
The president also said he'll leave acting Attorney General Whitaker alone to oversee the Russia investigation. "It's going to be up to him," Trump told Fox. When asked if he would stop Whitaker if he decides to curtail the Mueller Investigation, Trump answered, "I would not get involved."
Whitaker has been critical of the Russia probe in the past. On CNN in 2017, he said, "I could see a scenario where Jeff Sessions is replaced with a recess appointment and that attorney general doesn't fire Bob Mueller, he just reduces his funding so low that the investigation grinds to a halt."
Whitaker has also said, "There was no collusion with the Russians and the Trump campaign."
Democrats who are keen on protecting the Mueller investigation want Whitaker to recuse himself.
Congressman Adam Schiff, the likely next chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, calls Whitaker's appointment unconstitutional.
"Constitutionally it has to be subject to confirmation, and ethically he should have absolutely nothing to do with the investigation," Schiff said.
But Trump defended Whitaker. "I think (Whitaker's) very well aware politically, I think he's very astute politically. He's a very smart person, a very respected person. He's going to be what's right," he said.
Meanwhile, President Trump will probably not answer all of special counsel Robert Mueller's questions – specifically the one about obstruction. The president says, "There was no obstruction of justice."