Trump says he won't interfere in Robert Mueller's final Russia report

/ CBS News

Trump: DOJ to make Mueller report decisi

President Trump says that he'll leave any decisions regarding Special Counsel Robert Mueller's final report on the Russia investigation to the Department of Justice. Mr. Trump said he's "chosen to stay out of it" when asked if he would "sign off" on Mueller's findings.

In a wide-ranging interview with The Daily Caller on Wednesday, Mr. Trump suggested that he "could've taken a much difference stance" on the highly-anticipated release of Mueller's report.

"I could've gotten involved in this, I could've terminated everything. I could've ended everything. I've chosen to stay out of it. But I had the right to, as you know, I had the right, if I wanted to, to end everything. I could've just said, 'that's enough.' Many people thought that's what I should do," the president said.

As Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker told CBS News' Paula Reid this week that the Mueller investigation was "close to being completed", Mr. Trump said he never spoke to Whitaker about that. He added later that after almost two years, the probe "certainly should be" finished.

Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign and any possible links to the Trump campaign began in May 2017, shortly after Mr. Trump abruptly fired FBI Director James Comey. His investigators have handed down indictments against multiple Trump associates including former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and most recently Trump confidant Roger Stone.

Despite claiming he would stay out of the investigation, Mr. Trump has repeatedly lashed out over Mueller's probe, frequently comparing it to a "witch hunt" and a "total disgrace."

CBS News' Stefan Becket contributed to this report.

First published on January 31, 2019

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Drugmaker doubles recall of infant ibuprofen

Some batches found with overly high concentrations of the drug, with infants especially vulnerable to adverse effects

updated 23M ago

Drones and dogs: How Atlanta is protecting the Super Bowl

For security officials, this is their Super Bowl, too

updated 26M ago

Fire at Newark Airport torches at least a dozen vehicles

About a dozen vehicles went up in flames Thursday morning at Newark Liberty International Airport.

updated 53M ago

Woman uses DNA test, finds sperm donor – and pays a "devastating" price

A sperm bank is threatening to sue an Oregon woman who contacted her daughter's biological father after using an at-home DNA test

updated 49M ago

Company accused of fueling opioid crisis wanted to capitalize on treatment: report

ProPublica specifically names Kathe Sackler as being involved with a secretive project called "Project Tango"

updated 56M ago

Trump says he won't interfere in Robert Mueller's final Russia report

"I could've gotten involved in this, I could've terminated everything," Trump said of the Mueller investigation

updated 10M ago

U.S. proceeds with sale of oil leases near sacred sites

The sale comes amid criticism that the Bureau of Land Management pushed ahead with drilling permit reviews despite the government shutdown

1H ago

Kentucky gov., Kim Davis at odds in same-sex marriage battle

Gov. Bevin say the former Rowan County clerk broke the law by not issuing marriage licenses

1H ago

Trump says Paul Ryan reneged on deal to fund border wall

"I was very disappointed in Paul because the wall was so desperately needed. And I'll get the wall," Mr. Trump told the conservative website The Daily Caller

6H ago

Pence to rally support for Venezuela's Guaidó in Miami

The vice president will give a speech to members of the Venezuelan exile community

11H ago

Venezuela power struggle hinges on Maduro's military

So far embattled president's commanders are standing by him, but pressure is mounting fast

updated 2M ago

Gov't cites "avalanche of evidence" in El Chapo trial closing arguments

Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman faces multiple drug and murder conspiracy charges that could land him in jail with a life sentence if convicted

12H ago

Trump suggests "intelligence people" should "go back to school"

The president's bristled at conclusions from his own intelligence agency leaders that don't match up with his own

13H ago

Venezuelan leader responds to protests with military show of force

One protester said they've had enough of an oppressive regime under President Nicolas Maduro

13H ago

Ariana Grande's Japanese tattoo is a fail

Hope she likes BBQ

15H ago

CBS All Access' "Twilight Zone" reboot gets premiere date

"Twilight Zone" fans can soon enter the fifth dimension all over again

13H ago

Persons of interest sought in alleged Jussie Smollett attack

Smollett told police he was attacked by two white men early Tuesday who allegedly yelled "this is MAGA country"

10H ago

The Beatles' historic final concert held on rooftop 50 years ago

By the time they performed, it had been more than two years since their last live show

13H ago

How to watch the 2019 Super Bowl

The New England Patriots will face the Los Angeles Rams in Atlanta in Super Bowl LIII — here's everything you need to know

14H ago

Ariana Grande's Japanese tattoo is a fail

Hope she likes BBQ

15H ago

Woman uses DNA test, finds sperm donor – and pays a "devastating" price

A sperm bank is threatening to sue an Oregon woman who contacted her daughter's biological father after using an at-home DNA test

updated 49M ago

Despite privacy concerns, Facebook posts record earnings

The often-maligned social-media giant shows it can still bring in new users and hit new highs for profitability

7H ago

Facebook paying teens for info on their phone activity

Facebook disputes report that practice has been "secret "and constitutes "spying" on participants

Jan 30

Chicago is expected to be colder than Mount Everest base camp

It's also set to be colder than the South Pole

Jan 29

NOAA responds to Trump's climate change skepticism with a cartoon

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration tweeted increasing winter storms are a side effect of global warming

Jan 30

Drugmaker doubles recall of infant ibuprofen

Some batches found with overly high concentrations of the drug, with infants especially vulnerable to adverse effects

updated 23M ago

Woman uses DNA test, finds sperm donor – and pays a "devastating" price

A sperm bank is threatening to sue an Oregon woman who contacted her daughter's biological father after using an at-home DNA test

updated 49M ago

Company accused of fueling opioid crisis wanted to capitalize on treatment: report

ProPublica specifically names Kathe Sackler as being involved with a secretive project called "Project Tango"

updated 56M ago

Vaping much better smoking cessation aid than gum, patches: Study

Major British study could help doctors decide what to suggest to smokers and up pressure on FDA to more tightly oversee the booming vaping industry

2H ago

Med school under fire for using live pigs in training

A physicians' group claims Brown University's medical school violates the law by using live pigs for training in emergency medicine

15H ago

Mama mia! Italy, now in recession, stunts Europe's growth prospects

The country’s slump is one reason the wider eurozone’s growth fell to a meager 0.2% rate in 2018’s final quarter

updated 8M ago

Drugmaker doubles recall of infant ibuprofen

Some batches found with overly high concentrations of the drug, with infants especially vulnerable to adverse effects

updated 23M ago

1 in 10 Americans placing bets on Super Bowl LIII

Americans will wager some $6 billion on the 53rd Super Bowl Sunday — and much of it won't be on the Pats or Rams

updated 49M ago

Vaping much better smoking cessation aid than gum, patches: Study

Major British study could help doctors decide what to suggest to smokers and up pressure on FDA to more tightly oversee the booming vaping industry

2H ago

Despite privacy concerns, Facebook posts record earnings

The often-maligned social-media giant shows it can still bring in new users and hit new highs for profitability

7H ago

Phony pharmacist gave out 745,000 prescriptions, authorities say

She posed as a pharmacist and pharmacy manager for years in three California Walgreens stores, a state investigation finds

1H ago

Cleveland family says school should've flagged slain girl's absence sooner

Alianna DeFreeze, 14, was abducted on her way to school; her family is suing because they weren't notified about her absence quick enough

11H ago

"I hope y'all find peace": Texas inmate says before execution

Robert Jennings received lethal injection for killing Officer Elston Howard during a robbery part of a crime spree in July 1988

12H ago

Rand Paul awarded more than $580K stemming from neighbor attack

Kentucky jury awarded $375,000 in punitive damages and $200,000 for pain and suffering, plus $7,834 for medical expenses stemming from the 2017 incident

12H ago

Gov't cites "avalanche of evidence" in El Chapo trial closing arguments

Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman faces multiple drug and murder conspiracy charges that could land him in jail with a life sentence if convicted

12H ago