By Jeremy Diamond
WASHINGTON (CNN) — President Donald Trump’s communications director Hope Hicks, one of his closest and longest-serving aides, is set to be interviewed by special counsel Robert Mueller’s team in mid-November, a White House official confirmed to CNN.
Mueller’s team is interviewing White House officials “regularly” and “deliberately” over the coming weeks, and this official expects Mueller could conclude interviews with White House officials by Thanksgiving.
Politico first reported Hicks’ scheduled interview with Mueller’s team on Tuesday afternoon.
Some administration officials are expected to be interviewed by Mueller’s team while Trump is on a 12-day trip to Asia. The officials with whom Mueller has sought interviews who are traveling on the trip — like Hicks — will be interviewed when they return, the official said.
Hicks’ attorney Robert Trout did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Hicks is one of the Trump’s longest-serving aides, having been by his side at the Trump Organization and joining him as one of the first members of his campaign in spring 2015. Hicks has long been viewed inside Trump world as one of Trump’s most trusted confidantes who was almost always at his side during the campaign. She now works from a desk just outside the Oval Office.
Mueller’s office has reached out to several other White House officials as part of his probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election, which has also widened to look into questions of obstruction of justice surrounding the firing of FBI Director James Comey — which Trump has said was Russia-related.
Mueller’s team has approached the White House about interviewing staffers who were aboard Air Force One when the initial misleading statement about Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with a Russian lawyer at Trump Tower was crafted, three sources familiar with the conversations told CNN last month.
Mueller has also expressed interest in speaking with White House counsel Don McGahn, Jared Kushner’s communications aide Josh Raffel and associate counsel James Burnham.
Mueller’s team has already interviewed former White House press secretary Sean Spicer and former White House chief of staff Reince Priebus, earlier this month.
Hicks’ and other White House officials’ interviews come in the wake of Mueller announcing the first indictments in his investigation on Monday, against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his deputy Rick Gates. A guilty plea by former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos for making a false statement to the FBI was also unsealed Monday.
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