JUST IN: Mueller Schedules Interview With Top Trump Administration Member; Chaos Erupts

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The ongoing investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election continues and it shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. It’s been reported that special counsel Robert Mueller has scheduled an interview with longtime Trump adviser and White House communications director, Hope Hicks.

As POLITICO points out, this marks a new turn in the Russian investigation, as Mueller sets his sights on current administration officials, as opposed to those who used to work for Trump’s campaign.

‘Mueller’s team already has interviewed former aides, including Trump’s first chief of staff Reince Priebus and former press secretary Sean Spicer. But the latest round of interviews appears to mark a new phase of the investigation — hauling in current administration officials for daylong depositions.

‘“Nothing about recent events alters the White House’s commitment to fully cooperate with the office of the special counsel,” White House lawyer Ty Cobb, said Tuesday in an interview.’

Despite Cobb’s insistence that Trump and the White House will continue to cooperate with the investigation, some of Trump’s advisors, including former White House strategist Steve Bannon, have suggested he work against the investigation. Bannon, allegedly went so far as to suggest Trump defund Mueller’s investigation.

‘Bannon, according to two people familiar with his thinking, has been pushing the idea of defunding Mueller’s investigation. That strategy is easier said than done: Mueller’s budget is drawn from a permanent Treasury Department account, and the Justice Department regulations that were used in Mueller’s appointment note that he “shall be provided all appropriate resources” to conduct his investigation.

‘White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Tuesday that the president would not support defunding the probe.’

In contrast to Bannon, Cobb has argued that aiding the investigation will help end it faster, whereas trying to undermine it will only make Trump look guilty. Currently, it appears that Cobb is winning the day, as Trump has made no move to defund Mueller’s investigation, though he has taken to Twitter in an attempt to dismiss the importance of some of the charges.

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Despite this, it currently appears that Trump realizes that defunding the investigation would be a mistake on his end. In fact, POLITICO reports that one aid even called it “political suicide.”

‘With three fresh indictments on the table, it would be “political suicide” at this juncture, one insider familiar with the White House’s thinking said, to stop cooperating with the special counsel’s office. The continued cooperation, instead, is a signal the White House is confident the president is in no real jeopardy as the investigation continues.’

More about Hope Hicks can be seen in the video below, via YouTube:

Featured image via Getty Images.