White House counsel Don McGahn refused the president's order to publicly deny that Trump ordered him to fire Mueller

  • Special counsel Robert Mueller found that President Donald Trump repeatedly asked White House counsel Don McGahn to release a public statement denying that Trump had asked him to fire Mueller. But McGahn refused.
  • “Substantial evidence” supports McGahn’s claim that Trump directed him to fire Mueller, the special counsel found.
  • Trump repeatedly denied that he ever asked McGahn to “fire” Mueller.
  • Mueller argued that Trump was largely unsuccessful in influencing the special counsel investigation because his advisers “declined to carry out orders or acceded to his requests.”
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President Donald Trump repeatedly ordered White House counsel Don McGahn to fire special counsel Robert Mueller in 2017 and 2018, and then asked McGahn to release a statement denying that Trump had done so, according to Mueller’s Russia investigation report.

McGahn reportedly refused to do so.

On June 17, 2017, Trump called McGahn at home and “directed him to call the Acting Attorney General and say that the Special Counsel had conflicts of interest and must be removed,” the report found.

But McGahn did not carry out Trump’s order, “deciding that he would resign rather than trigger what he regarded as a potential Saturday Night Massacre,” Mueller found, referring to the infamous Watergate scandal.

Mueller also found that on January 26, 2018, Trump’s personal attorney called McGahn’s attorney to say that “the President wanted McGahn to put out a statement denying that he had been asked to fire the Special Counsel and that he had threatened to quit in protest.”

McGahn’s attorney reportedly discussed the issue with McGahn and then relayed the message back to the president that “McGahn could not comply with the President’s request to dispute the story.”


Read more:
Justice Department releases redacted Mueller report to public

Notably, Mueller argued that Trump was largely unsuccessful in influencing the special counsel investigation because his advisers “declined to carry out orders or acceded to his requests.”

“The President’s efforts to influence the investigation were mostly unsuccessful, but that is largely because the persons who surrounded the President declined to carry out orders or accede to his requests,” Mueller wrote in the report.


Read more:
Attorney General William Barr says Trump fully cooperated with Mueller investigation, but he didn’t sit for an interview

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