Robert Mueller was seeking to become FBI director when he met with Trump on May 16, 2017, according to administration officials who spoke to Fox News.
The former special counsel for the Russia investigation denied under oath during Congressional testimony over the summer that he was seeking the job at the time.
“My understanding was I was not applying for the job,” Mueller told congressmen on July 24 of this year.
One source confirmed that then-deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein spoke with Mueller around May 12, 2017 regarding the possibility of appointing Mueller as special counsel. Mueller was said to have considered taking the post of special counsel only if he was denied a post at the FBI or justice department.
“The boss and his staff do not know about our discussions,” Rosenstein wrote in an email to Mueller released after a request by Judicial Watch. Rosenstein’s boss was then-attorney general Jeff Sessions, who had recused himself from the Russia probe, which suggests that President Trump would also not have known about the conversations.
President Trump denied Mueller the FBI post, which led to his appointment as special counsel for the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election campaign. Trump has accused Mueller of bias against him after his refusal to appoint him FBI director.
The Mueller probe eventually cleared the Trump campaign of allegations of conspiring with Russian officials to steal the election. However, Mueller indicated that certain officials may have been guilty of obstruction of justice pertaining to the investigation into the campaign.
After the completion of the investigation, Mueller returned to his previous job at a private law firm.