The old I haven't given it any thought
by Tom Sullivan
President Donald Trump responded in August when asked if he had ever "thought about or considered" firing special counsel Robert Mueller. “I haven’t given it any thought,” he told reporters. (Think Progress has video.) White House aides made similar denials. Except.
The New York Times reported last night Trump had ordered Mueller fired from the Russia investigation in June. He only relented when White House counsel, Donald F. McGahn II, refused and threatened to quit. The Times cites four sources "told of the matter," adding the episode was "the first time Mr. Trump is known to have tried to fire the special counsel." How many others have reporters not been able to confirm?
The Times adds:
Mr. McGahn disagreed with the president’s case and told senior White House officials that firing Mr. Mueller would have a catastrophic effect on Mr. Trump’s presidency. Mr. McGahn also told White House officials that Mr. Trump would not follow through on the dismissal on his own. The president then backed off.The White House refused comment.
Around the time Mr. Trump wanted to fire Mr. Mueller, the president’s legal team, led then by his longtime personal lawyer in New York, Marc E. Kasowitz, was taking an adversarial approach to the Russia investigation. The president’s lawyers were digging into potential conflict-of-interest issues for Mr. Mueller and his team, according to current and former White House officials, and news media reports revealed that several of Mr. Mueller’s prosecutors had donated to Democrats.Trump had also considered firing the deputy attorney general, Rod J. Rosenstein, and moving Rachel Brand, the No. 3 official in the Justice Department into that position as a way of working his way down the Justice food chain looking for someone who would do his bidding which, as McGahn suggested, Trump was unwilling to do himself.