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Trump not obligated to answer to Russian probe: Lawyer

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Washington, May 7 (IANS) US President Donald Trump is not obligated to testify for the ongoing Russian probe, his lawyer and former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani said on Sunday.

Giuliani said Trump doesn’t "have to" comply with a subpoena if Robert Mueller, the Special Counsel who leads the investigation, were to issue one.

"He’s the President of the United States. We can assert the same privileges other presidents have," the long time Trump ally told an interview with ABC.

Giuliani said recent actions from Mueller’s office, including the unveiling of dozens of potential questions for Trump, persuaded him to think twice about an interview.

"Not after the way they acted, I came into this case with the desire to do that, and they keep convincing me not to do that," Xinhua quoted him as saying.

Giuliani said fellow Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow agrees with his position.

The Trump administration has been moving away in recent weeks from accepting to an interview with Mueller, after concerns that Trump may provide inaccurate or contradictory answers grew.

Ty Cobb, a Trump lawyer who supported such an interview, signaled his retirement at the end of May.

The Russian probe, coupled with Trump’s alleged affair with adult movie actress Stormy Daniels and an ensuing hushup effort, has become a major cloud hanging above the Trump administration, dominating US media as well as Trump’s own Twitter feed.

Trump has described the probe as a witch hunt, and insisted that he was free of any wrongdoing.

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