President Trump said Wednesday that he has not been subpoenaed by special counsel Robert Mueller, denying speculation that he's fighting a secret legal effort to compel his testimony.

Trump gave the single-word answer "no" when a reporter asked on the South Lawn of the White House if he had been subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury.

Trump's denial followed a widely circulated opinion article speculating he was quietly fighting Mueller before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

The theory was outlined in a Politico editorial that received top billing on the influential Drudge Report. Author Nelson Cunningham, a former federal prosecutor in New York and a former Clinton White House lawyer, argued it looked likely, citing a news article last week detailing an apparent Mueller-linked appeal relating to a subpoena.

Part of the guesswork is the recusal of Judge Greg Katsas, the appeals court's only Trump nominee, from the case.

Whether Trump would have to comply with a subpoena is unclear. The president routinely refers to Mueller's work as a "witch hunt," dismissing the special prosecutor's sprawling investigation, which began with a probe of possible Trump campaign collusion with Russia.

"If Mueller were going to subpoena the president — and there’s every reason why a careful and thorough prosecutor would want the central figure on the record on critical questions regarding his knowledge and intent — this is just the way we would expect him to do so. Quietly, expeditiously, and refusing to waste the lull in public action demanded by the midterm elections," Cunnigham wrote.

"It all fits," the former government lawyer wrote.