Multiple administration officials tell Fox News that when Robert Mueller met with President Trump in May of 2017, Mueller was indeed pursuing the open post as the director of the FBI – something the former Russia probe special counsel denied under oath during congressional testimony this summer.
These officials also told Fox News government documents showed Mueller was pursuing the job as a candidate himself.
It came as emails released this month through a Freedom of Information Act request by the conservative group Judicial Watch seemed to indicate Mueller knew there was a real possibility he could be named special counsel if he wasn’t chosen as the next FBI director.
“The boss and his staff do not know about our discussions,” then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said in an email to Mueller on May 12, 2017. Rosenstein’s boss was then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who had recused himself from the Russia probe, meaning the president would not have known either.
A source close to Rosenstein confirmed to Fox News that he had confidential conversations with Mueller about whether he would be willing to serve in the event he needed to appoint a special counsel. These conversations began on May 12, 2017, prior to Mueller's meeting with the president on May 16, 2017, the source acknowledged.