President TrumpRobert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE , according to Donald John TrumpAccuser says Trump should be afraid of the truth Woman behind pro-Trump Facebook page denies being influenced by Russians Shulkin says he has White House approval to root out ‘subversion’ at VA MORE reportedly considered firing White House counsel Don McGahn if he didn’t deny a report that he threatened to resign after Trump ordered him to fire special counsel The New York Times .
In January, the Times reported that Trump ordered Mueller to be fired last year, but was stopped after McGahn threatened to resign rather than carry out Trump’s order.
In the days after the Times published its report, former White House staff secretary Rob Porter reportedly told McGahn that Trump wanted him to release a statement denying that Trump wanted Mueller to be fired and that McGahn threatened to resign over the order.
According to the Times, Porter told McGahn Trump had suggested he might “get rid of” McGahn if he didn’t issue the statement.
Trump later confronted McGahn in the Oval Officer after he didn’t release a statement denying the Times report. During the meeting, which chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE also attended, Trump told McGahn he ordered him to fire Mueller, people familiar with the meeting told the newspaper.
The Times reports McGahn told Trump he was wrong, and that he did ask McGahn to see that Mueller was removed from his post. Trump reportedly said he did not remember the conversation that way.
Trump’s conversation with McGahn was one of two conservations Trump had with witnesses interviewed by Mueller, according to the Times. Trump also asked former chief of staff Reince PriebusReinhold (Reince) Richard PriebusPriebus on chaos in Trump White House: ‘Take everything you’ve heard and multiply it by 50’ Speculation swirls about Kevin McCarthy’s future Priebus claims he helped stop Trump from firing Sessions MORE about his interview with Mueller’s investigators and whether they had been “nice.”
Mueller found out about Trump’s attempt to have him fired as his team began interviewing top current and former Trump officials, the Times reported in January.
McGahn interviewed with Mueller’s team in December as part of the special counsel’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.