16:34 GMT +321 March 2019
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    US President Donald Trump (L) and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly wait for a meeting with lawmakers in the Cabinet Room of the White House on September 13, 2017 in Washington, DC.

    Trump: I'd Love to Speak to Mueller, as There Was No Collusion With Russia

    © AFP 2019 / Brendan Smialowski
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    US President Donald Trump stated Friday that he wanted to make sure he would be treated fairly before speaking with Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

    "I would love to go, I would love to speak, but I have to find that we're going to be treated fairly. I have to find that we're going to be treated fairly, because everybody sees it now and it's a pure witch hunt," Trump told reporters.

    As the US president explained, his lawyers have been advising him against a meeting with Mueller.

    Trump's comment referred to Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating claims of alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 US elections, and allegations concerning collusion between Moscow and Trump's campaign.

    READ MORE: Trump Says Special Counsel Should Never Been Appointed to Probe Russia Collusion

    Responding to all of these accusations, Moscow has repeatedly denied interfering, calling the claims "absurd." As for the US president himself, he has repeatedly denied colluding with the Kremlin, calling Mueller's probe a "witch hunt."

    READ MORE: 'Total Witch Hunt!' Trump Reacts to Declassified House Intel Report

    The absence of collusion has also been established by the House Intelligence Committee's final report called "Report on Russian Active Measure", released a week ago. The committee, however, suggested that Moscow had allegedly attempted to sow division in the United States by carrying out cyberattacks and influencing social media users.

    READ MORE: House Intel Panel Finds No Collusion Between Trump Campaign and Kremlin

    On Relations With North Korea

    US President Donald Trump has also commented on the recent developments in the relations with North Korea amid the recently signed by Seoul and Pyohgyang Declaration for Peace, Prosperity and Unification on the Korean Peninsula, ensuring commitment of the two countries to a nuclear-free peninsula and talks to bring a formal end to the Korean War.

    "We're having very substantive talks with North Korea and a lot of things have already happened with respect to the hostages and I think you're going to see very good things. As I said yesterday, stay tuned," Trump told reporters.

    The US president is expected to hold a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in the upcoming several weeks, during which they would discuss the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

    Trump told went on saying that he was not considering reducing the US troop presence in South Korea at this point, although he would like to do so to save money in the future.

    "I have to tell you at some point in the future I would love to save the money. You know we have 32,000 troops there," Trump said. "But troops are not on the table."

    The US president mentioned that North Korea has not asked for a withdrawal.

    On Trade Relations With China

    Speaking about trade relations with China, US President Donald Trump stated Washington was "being nice" to China during negotiations on trade.

    "I have great respect for President Xi, that’s why we’re being so nice and we have a great relationship, but we have to bring fairness into trade between the US and China and we’ll do it," Trump told reporters.

    Trump specified that the delegation he sent to work on trade issues with China is now on its way back to the United States.

    Chinese media said on Friday that major disagreements remain on certain issues after two days of high-level discussions in Beijing.

    The Chinese and US delegations discussed expanding US exports to China, bilateral trade in services, bilateral investments, intellectual property protection and tariffs measures and a consensus was reached in some of these areas, according to Xinhua News Agency. Both sides agreed to maintain close communication and establish a working mechanism on related issues.

    READ MORE: China, Japan, S Korea Ministers Warn Against Protectionism in Int'l Trade

    The US delegation, led by Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow, arrived in Beijing on Thursday for the talks.

    Tensions between China and the United States have escalated in recent months, as Trump threatened to slap steep tariffs on Chinese exports to the United States worth up to $150 billion. In response, Chinese authorities vowed to retaliate against US exports to China with a matching value.

    alleged Russian meddling, investigation, Robert Mueller, Donald Trump
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