A federal official said yesterday that the attorney general's office wanted to talk with Penn and Mexican actress Kate del Castillo about their secretive meeting with Guzman in October, three months before his capture.

A second federal official said it was unclear whether Penn and del Castillo, who brokered the meeting, had violated any Mexican law.

While a reporter could interview a drug cartel suspect, "they're not journalists," the official said.

White House chief of staff Denis McDonough told CNN that Penn's meeting with Guzman "poses a lot of interesting questions for him and others involved in this so-called interview. We'll see what happens."

The US rock magazine Rolling Stone on Saturday published the interview that Guzman gave to the actors in an undisclosed jungle clearing in Mexico.

Despite Penn's cloak-and-dagger efforts to keep the gathering secret, a Mexican official said that authorities found out about the meeting, which eventually helped them track down the Sinaloa drug cartel chief.

Guzman, 58, was arrested on Friday in a deadly military raid in the seaside city of Los Mochis, in his northwestern home state of Sinaloa.


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