Special counsel Robert Mueller told President Trump's attorneys last month that he does not consider Trump to be a criminal target in his investigation of Russian actions during the 2016 campaign, The Washington Post reported Tuesday night.
The paper, citing "three people familiar with the discussions," reported that Mueller made the comments while negotiating with Trump's attorneys about a potential interview with the president. The Post also reported -- citing "two people with knowledge of the conversations" -- that Mueller reiterated his need to interview Trump to determine whether the president intended to halt the Russia investigation while in office.
According to the Post, Trump has "privately expressed relief" at Mueller's description of his legal status, but some advisers have warned that the special counsel may be baiting the president into letting his guard down for any interview.
Mueller also has said he needs to interview Trump in order to complete a report he will present to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who is overseeing the investigation and who could decide to make Mueller's report public.
The report added that John Dowd resigned from Trump's legal team last month after the president ignored Dowd's advice to decline Mueller's request for an interview.
According to the Post, Trump's other attorneys -- Ty Cobb and Jay Sekulow -- have told the president that refusing to sit down with Mueller would create an awkward situation since the president has repeatedly described the Russian investigation as a "witch hunt."