In a sign that the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election will remain a continuing distraction for the White House, the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, is in talks with the West Wing about interviewing current and former senior administration officials, including the recently ousted White House chief of staff, Reince Priebus, according to three people briefed on the discussions. Mr. Mueller has asked the White House about specific meetings, who attended them and whether there are any notes, transcripts or documents about them, two of the people said. Among the matters Mr. Mueller wants to ask the officials about is President Trump’s decision in May to fire the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, the two people said. That line of questioning will be important as Mr. Mueller continues to investigate whether Mr. Trump obstructed justice in the dismissal of Mr. Comey.
No interviews have been scheduled, but in recent weeks Mr. Mueller’s investigation has appeared to intensify. Late last month, he took the aggressive step of executing a search warrant at the Alexandria, Va., home of Paul J. Manafort, Mr. Trump’s former campaign chairman. Legal experts say Mr. Mueller may be trying to put pressure on Mr. Manafort to cooperate with the investigation.
Although it has been clear for months that Mr. Mueller would interview Mr. Trump’s closest advisers, the recent inquiries come as the president is heading into the fall pushing his priorities in Congress, including a tax overhaul, with the constant distraction of a federal investigation.