President Donald Trump said Wednesday he is willing to speak "under oath" to special counsel Robert Mueller as part of the federal investigation into Russian election meddling as well as potential collusion with Trump's campaign.
“I’m looking forward to it, actually,” Trump told reporters when asked if he would talk to Mueller. "I would love to do that. I'd like to do it as soon as possible."
"There has been no collusion whatsoever. There is no obstruction whatsoever," he added.
This is a shift from what Trump told reporters on January 10, when he said that it "seems unlikely" that he would have to meet with Mueller. The president has repeatedly insisted there was “no collusion” between his campaign and Russia.
"When they have no collusion … it seems unlikely that you'd even have an interview," Trump said at the time, calling the investigation a "Democratic hoax."
In a phone interview after Trump’s impromptu comments, White House special counsel Ty Cobb qualified the president’s remarks, saying Trump was willing to testify under oath “subject to the terms being negotiated by his personal counsel.” Cobb said those terms were still being negotiated.
Telling reporters Wednesday he "absolutely" would speak to the FBI under oath, Trump wondered if his former political rival, Democrat Hillary Clinton, had ever done so.
"Did Hillary do it under oath?" he asked.
Clinton did a voluntary interview in July 2016 regarding the FBI investigation into her use of a private email server. However, whether a person is under oath or not is immaterial, because making a false statement to a federal agent can still result in a perjury charge under federal law.
The president also said he is open to a path to citizenship for DACA recipients — immigrants who were brought to the country illegally as children who have been granted certain protections under the Obama-era program — after 10 to 12 years.
He added that Dreamers have nothing to worry about. Still, he told reporters, he wants $25 billion for a border wall and $5 billion for national security funding.
Senators Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Richard Durbin, D-Ill., who have worked on a bipartisan immigration proposal that would resolve the fate of DACA recipients, both expressed optimism after the president's comments.
"I truly appreciate President Trump making it clear that he supports a path to citizenship for DACA recipients. This will greatly help the Senate efforts to craft a proposal which President Trump can sign into law," Graham said in a statement.
Durbin said on Twitter that the president "is headed in the right direction."