Trump: I still 'would like to' sit down with Mueller

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Thursday he still "would like" to testify before Special Counsel Robert Mueller as part of the investigation into alleged collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign during the 2016 election.

After a signing ceremony for new tariffs against China, Trump was asked if he would still like to appear before Mueller. "Yes," he said as he left the room. "I would like to. I would like to."

Trump has previously signaled that willingness, but Thursday's comments come days after Trump intensified his criticism of the Mueller investigation — and the same day as a shakeup in Trump's legal team for the Russia probe, with attorney John Dowd quitting the team Thursday morning.

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Lawyer John Dowd throughout his career
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Lawyer John Dowd throughout his career
John Dowd, lawyer for Galleon hedge fund founder Raj Rajaratnam, leaves federal court after a hearing in New York February 16, 2011. Onetime billionaire Rajaratnam, 53, was arrested and charged with conspiracy and securities fraud in October 2009 in a sprawling case U.S. prosecutors describe as the biggest probe of insider trading in the $1.9 trillion hedge fund industry. Sri Lankan-born U.S. citizen Rajaratnam, who has pleaded not guilty and is free on bail, has vowed to establish his innocence at a jury trial. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton (UNITED STATES - Tags: BUSINESS CRIME LAW HEADSHOT)
John Dowd, (R) lawyer for Galleon hedge fund founder Raj Rajaratnam, speaks to the media outside Manhattan Federal Court after opening arguments in the insider trading case in New York March 9, 2011. Prosecution and defense lawyers painted starkly different portraits of Rajaratnam a Sri Lankan-born, one-time billionaire, at the start of the biggest Wall Street insider trading case in a generation. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid (UNITED STATES - Tags: CRIME LAW BUSINESS)
Lawyer John Dowd (L) enters a car after escorting Galleon hedge fund founder Raj Rajaratnam from Manhattan Federal Court in New York May 11, 2011. Rajaratnam was found guilty of 14 securities fraud and conspiracy charges on Wednesday, in a vindication for the government's use of aggressive tactics in prosecuting insider trading on Wall Street. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson (UNITED STATES - Tags: BUSINESS CRIME LAW)
Lawyer John Dowd exits Manhattan Federal Court after his client Galleon hedge fund founder Raj Rajaratnam was found guilty in New York May 11, 2011. Galleon Group founder Raj Rajaratnam was found guilty on all 14 conspiracy and securities fraud charges, in a vindication of the government's aggressive tactics in prosecuting crime on Wall Street. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid (UNITED STATES - Tags: CRIME LAW BUSINESS)
Former U.S. Justice Department White House Liaison Monica Goodling (C) and her attorney John Dowd (L) speak with House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-SC) on Capitol Hill in Washington, May 23, 2007. REUTERS/Jim Young (UNITED STATES)
Lawyer John Dowd (L) enters a car after escorting Galleon hedge fund founder Raj Rajaratnam from Manhattan Federal Court in New York May 11, 2011. Rajaratnam was found guilty of 14 securities fraud and conspiracy charges on Wednesday, in a vindication for the government's use of aggressive tactics in prosecuting insider trading on Wall Street. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson (UNITED STATES - Tags: BUSINESS CRIME LAW)
Galleon hedge fund founder Raj Rajaratnam (C) leaves federal court after a hearing with lawyer John Dowd (L) in New York March 4, 2011. REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi (UNITED STATES - Tags: CRIME LAW BUSINESS)
Arizona Republican Governor J. Fife Symington III (R) and his attorney John Dowd confer September 3 after Symington's press conference announcing his resignation effective September 5. Symington was found guilty on seven counts of bank fraud, acquitted on three and a mistrial was declared on eleven counts in his trial in Federal Court. GOVERNOR
Galleon hedge fund founder Raj Rajaratnam (R) and his lawyer John Dowd arrive at Federal Court in New York March 28, 2011. A profanity-laced phone tap of accused hedge fund manager Raj Rajaratnam and his brother was played for jurors as U.S. prosecutors sought to prove he traded on inside information about a deal that had not yet been made public. The FBI audio clip was among dozens played so far in the biggest Wall Street insider trading trial in decades. REUETRS/Mike Segar (UNITED STATES - Tags: CRIME LAW BUSINESS)
FILE PHOTO: Lawyer John Dowd exits Manhattan Federal Court in New York, U.S. on May 11, 2011. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo
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The president did not stay in the White House's Diplomatic Room to take questions from reporters on Dowd, or the recent changes to his legal team.

Trump added longtime Washington lawyer Joseph diGenova to his legal team Monday — a sign that the president could be preparing for a longer, and potentially more combative, legal battle despite repeated claims from the White House that Mueller's investigation was wrapping up.

In January, Trump expressed a willingness to speak "under oath" with Mueller, telling reporters he was "looking forward to it, actually."

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People reportedly interviewed in Robert Mueller's Russia probe
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People reportedly interviewed in Robert Mueller's Russia probe

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions 

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Former FBI Director James Comey

(REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

Former White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus

(REUTERS/Joshua Roberts)

Former White House press secretary Sean Spicer

(REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

White House Director of Strategic Communications Hope Hicks

(Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Trump advisor Stephen Miller

(REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

President Trump's son-in-law and senior advisor Jared Kushner 

(bBRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

Don McGahn, general counsel for the Trump transition team

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Christopher Steele, the former MI6 agent who compiled the reported Trump dossier 

(Photo by Victoria Jones/PA Images via Getty Images)

Sam Clovis, a former member of the Trump campaign

(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

CIA Director Mike Pompeo
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"I would love to do that. I'd like to do it as soon as possible," he said then, adding once more "there has been no collusion whatsoever. There is no obstruction whatsoever."

Talks have been underway for months for Trump to speak with the special counsel. In the aftermath of Dowd's resignation Thursday, Trump personal attorney Jay Sekulow said in a statement that they would continue cooperating with the special counsel's office.

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