Aside from rumors of paranoia among White House staffers, there’s been precious little information to come out about special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible collusion between the Russian government and the Trump campaign during the 2016 election, as well as possible financial crimes by former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. However, Mueller has started his long-awaited interviews of current and former Trump White House staffers and he’s started with a main figure connected to the campaign and the administration: former chief of staff Reince Priebus.
William Burck, Priebus’ attorney, confirmed that the former Republican National Committee chairman spoke with Mueller’s team Friday.
“Mr. Priebus was voluntarily interviewed by Special Counsel Mueller’s team today. He was happy to answer all of their questions,” Burck said in a statement.
Priebus, who played a big part in the Trump campaign as well as serving as his chief of staff for six months, is seen as one of the most important people for Mueller’s team to speak to.
Priebus is seen as a key player in understanding the president’s actions because he was present for many meetings, including discussions on firing Comey and White House meetings with Russian officials. He also was privy to White House internal documents.
The former Republican National Committee chairman also had private conversations with Comey and other law enforcement officials as White House chief of staff and was near the Oval Office when Trump allegedly asked Comey to go easy on Flynn.
Politico reports that Trump-aligned advisors and officials are worried about Priebus speaking to the special counsel investigators because he was in close proximity to Trump so often and because Trump frequently made Priebus the target of his criticism.