US President Donald Trump has said he believes he will be treated “fairly” by the investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the US election.
There has been tension between the White House and the inquiry and Mr Trump has had to deny planning to fire lead investigator Robert Mueller.
Mr Trump again denied there had been any collusion with Russian officials.
He told the New York Times he did not know how long the inquiry would take, but it had made the US “look very bad”.
Speaking in an interview at his golf club in West Palm Beach in Florida, Mr Trump insisted he had the right to begin or end any justice department investigations.
“But for purposes of hopefully thinking I’m going to be treated fairly, I’ve stayed uninvolved with this particular matter,” he said.
Mr Trump said of Mr Mueller, the special counsel: “I think he’s going to be fair.”
The Times said that Mr Trump had denied 16 times during the interview that there had been any collusion with Russia.
US intelligence agencies believe Moscow tried to tip the presidential election in favour of Mr Trump – a charge denied by both Russia and the US president.
Mr Trump has labelled Mr Mueller’s investigation a “witch hunt” while other Republicans accuse it of bias.
Mr Trump repeated his allegation that Democrats had invented the issue “as a hoax, as a ruse, as an excuse for losing an election”.
The president said he was not concerned about when the inquiry would finish as he had nothing to hide.
But he said: “It makes the country look very bad, and it puts the country in a very bad position. So the sooner it’s worked out, the better it is for the country.”
He was repeating his comments from May that the probe was “hurting the US terribly”.
Mr Trump said the matter had angered his supporters, adding: “My base is strong than it’s ever been.”
On other areas in the interview, Mr Trump:
- Again condemned Democrats for not taking a bipartisan approach to legislation
- Said he had to endorse the defeated candidate Roy Moore in the Alabama special election, as that was what the “head of the Republican” party had to do
- Again criticised Attorney General Jeff Sessions for recusing himself from the Russia inquiry
- Said he believed the media would become more favourable to him as their ratings “would go down the tubes” if he were not in office