Claim that Trump tried to fire Mueller

The New York Times claims Trump Ordered Mueller Fired, but Backed Off When White House Counsel Threatened to Quit

President Trump ordered the firing last June of Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel overseeing the Russia investigation, according to four people told of the matter, but ultimately backed down after the White House counsel threatened to resign rather than carry out the directive.

The West Wing confrontation marks the first time Mr. Trump is known to have tried to fire the special counsel.

After receiving the president’s order to fire Mr. Mueller, the White House counsel, Donald F. McGahn II, refused to ask the Justice Department to dismiss the special counsel, saying he would quit instead, the people said. They spoke on the condition of anonymity because they did not want to be identified discussing a continuing investigation.

One could ask why this leak has come out, purportedly from four different sources.

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.

A typical fake news’ response from Trump:

“Fake news, folks,” Mr. Trump said. “Fake news. A typical New York Times fake story.”

But also, from Fox News: Trump was talked out of firing Mueller last June, source says

President Trump told top officials this past June that he wanted to fire special counsel Robert Mueller, but was talked out of doing so by White House counsel Don McGahn and other aides, a source close to the White House told Fox News late Thursday.

The source could neither confirm nor deny a New York Times report that Trump ordered Mueller’s dismissal, but backed down when McGahn threatened to resign instead.

However, the source added that then-White House chief of staff Reince Priebus and chief strategist Steven Bannon believed last summer that Trump would fire Mueller and were very worried about the political fallout.

“They said, ‘This is going to blow up,'” the source recounted to Fox.

White House lawyer Ty Cobb declined to comment on either the source’s account or the New York Times report “out of respect for the Office of the Special Counsel and its process.”

Another day, another Trump controversy.

47 Comments

  1. David

     /  January 27, 2018

    More fake news, wonder what it will be tomorrow. Lets face it the real reason this story is out now is to overshadow the success Trump is having at Davos.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  January 27, 2018

      Not very successful at persuading his wife to stand by his side….not that I blame her for not doing so.

      • David

         /  January 27, 2018

        Again totally fake news that has been denied by Melania. She never stayed in a DC hotel and she was never going to Davos and she is quite happy being FLOTUS so shock and horror Kitty the Daily Mail who paid 100s of thousands compensation for the last time they claimed she was something not so pure are making shit up again.

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  January 27, 2018

          It’s not fake news that she is not at Davos, the body language is not fake news, his rudeness to her is on film for all to see. Look at the way he barged on ahead up the White House steps without waiting for her, ignored her when she arrived and then turned and barged in without her or the Obamas who had to try to make up for this.

          The conversation about pussy-grabbing and Trump’s attempt to fuck (his word) a married woman-jump on them like a bitch, to use his words again) was not long after they were married. Nice way to carry on just after the wedding.

          The Daily Mail episode has nothing whatever to do with this-and that was ages ago. Her demeanour is not that of a happy person and not that of a happy wife. Of course she wouldn’t say that she is unhappy as First Lady-she’s not a fool. I wonder if the marriage will survive his presidency,

  2. George

     /  January 27, 2018

    The Russian scare didn’t work. Jeering at the man didn’t work either.
    The left and the fake news are just desperate now.
    I shouldn’t be surprised if Trump wasn’t feeding the rumour mill to see who wasn’t ‘on his side’ in the WH

    • Mefrostate

       /  January 27, 2018

      What about the memo!

      Any comment on the actual topic at hand, Alan? Try not to get distracted.

      • Griff

         /  January 27, 2018

        Yes Alan
        The same republican who wrote the memo voted to reduce the oversite over surveillance.
        Like the crap over the dossier the republicans lie and missdirect as a matter of course.
        N

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  January 27, 2018

        Said my piece on the other thread long ago. Who cares if Trump wanted to sack Mueller? Anyone sensible would have. And your undistracted contribution is where?

        • Mefrostate

           /  January 27, 2018

          I prefer not to contribute unless I have something of value to add. The reverse of your philosophy.

          But since you asked, Trump’s desire to fire Mueller is just more of his usual corruption & incompetence. Firing Comey is what sparked the special investigation, and trying to fire Mueller would have caused an even deeper constitutional crisis. Call it obstructing justice while being investigated for obstruction of justice. He’s lucky he’s got decent lawyers around him – looks like he’ll need them.

          • Mefrostate

             /  January 27, 2018

            Oh and his instinctual “fake news” response is disgusting too, the reports are clearly accurate – independently confirmed by several reputable outfits as well as Fox. His attacks on the media are illiberal, characteristic of authoritarian despots, and further damage confidence in an important institution.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  January 27, 2018

              Hundreds of media reporting the same allegation doesn’t make it true. “Four people told of it” is no more impressive than whatever the source was for all of them. Keeping that anonymous makes it untestable. Trump has patented the “Fake News” response as a way to deflect the Lefty media’s continuous attacks on him. Good move.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  January 27, 2018

              The Lefty have discredited themselves by their ridiculous partisanship. Trump has merely refused to accept their continuous abuse meekly.

            • Mefrostate

               /  January 28, 2018

              Alan, based on the available reporting, do you think Trump tried to fire Mueller?

              I just want a yes or no, or a % likelihood that it’s true.

              Please don’t give me your opinion about why it wouldn’t matter even if he did fire Mueller, I’m not interested in that. Just want to understand your process of divining what is true or false.

            • Joe Bloggs

               /  January 28, 2018

              Good luck with that Mefro

              Alan doesn’t do reasoned debate – all the Northland troll knows is the kind of heavy-handed clumsy identity politics that his Godhead uses to bludgeon anyone whose opinion differs from his own.

              Talk about TDS- trump devotion syndrome – Alan has it in spades and it blinds him to the reality.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  January 28, 2018

              @Mefro, where did I ever say I exist to answer your silly, arrogant and rude questions? Of course Trump would consider sacking Mueller who totally deserves it. Who knows or cares what steps or canvassing he may have taken accordingly. Certainly not me.

            • Mefrostate

               /  January 28, 2018

              Right so you actually think these reports are accurate, but instead of discussing what they tell us about Trump, you chose to deflect by talking about the media instead.

              And you did this immediately after I advised you to try not to get distracted.

              He’s got you trained well.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  January 28, 2018

              I have no idea whether the reports are accurate. Nor do I care. But I do note that your “reports” is a misleading word that appears to disguise and misrepresent a single anonymous source.

            • Mefrostate

               /  January 28, 2018

              If you don’t know or care, why do you bother clogging up the comments section with deny deflect discredit tactics?

              I’ll note again that it was confirmed separately by WaPo, NYT, and even the fiercely pro-Trump Fox confirmed it. So to me it seems extremely likely to be true.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  January 28, 2018

              Honestly you are an idiot, Mefro. I post something I find interesting after making the only point I think this topic justifies and you pester me to repeat or say more on this silly no-one knows what happened allegation and when I do you complain I am clogging up the comments.

              Go get a life somewhere.

            • Mefrostate

               /  January 28, 2018

              I think it’s worthwhile pointing out the mental gymnastics you’re willing to go through in order to protect Trump. I don’t hope to change your mind, but it’s good to expose your tactics.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  January 28, 2018

              You are still an idiot, Mefro. My tactics are simply to talk about stuff I find meaningful and interesting rather than mindless drivel. Expose that all you want.

            • Mefrostate

               /  January 28, 2018

              Nice rhetoric, but you actually mean you want to talk about stuff that makes Trump look good, and deflect attention from stuff that makes him look bad.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  January 28, 2018

              I just checked your claim re Fox news and find it is untrue.

              A source told Fox News that Trump did not tell White House Counsel Don McGahn to fire Mueller, but did discuss the possibility of doing so during a meeting with McGahn and others.

              Trump asked McGahn if he would talk to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein (who has authority over the special counsel) about it, the source said.

              McGahn, though, told the president in no uncertain terms that firing Mueller – the head of the probe into possible collusion by Trump associates with Moscow – would be a horrible idea and blow up in his face, the source said. Trump took McGahn’s advice and dropped active consideration of firing Mueller, though continued to reserve that as an option if Mueller’s Russia investigation took an inappropriate turn, Fox News is told.

              http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/01/26/did-trump-try-to-fire-mueller-behind-scenes-presidents-dispute-with-his-legal-team.html

              So the NYT article may well be the fake news Trump said it was.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  January 28, 2018

              I would be amazed and appalled if any President faced with a special prosecutor installed by his political opponents and displaying multiple conflicts of interest as well as an inclination to throw any mud he can dredge up would not seriously consider with his appropriate official advisers whether that prosecutor could and should be fired.

              That is simply responsible and competent management.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  January 28, 2018

              Just how fatuous this drivelling nonsense is:

              For 36 years, Democrats have routinely called for impeaching Republican presidents at the drop of a hat.

              Here is a sampling:

              On May 1, 1981, thousands of protesters marched in Washington to denounce President Reagan’s economic and social policies. The event was billed as ”Days of Resistance to Roll Back Reaganism.” (Sound familiar?) At the event, at least two speakers called for impeaching Reagan.

              ”Our purpose is to turn this country around,” one said. ”Getting rid of Reagan is the first step.”

              In early 1983, Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., said Reagan should be impeached “for incompetence.” Later that year, he called for impeaching Reagan over his military action in Grenada.

              Jesse Jackson wanted Reagan impeached in 1984 for mining Nicaragua’s harbors. Texas Rep. Henry Gonzalez and six other Democrats introduced a resolution to impeach Reagan in 1987 over the Iran-Contra affair.

              Gonzalez pushed to have President George H.W. Bush impeached in 1991 because of the Gulf War.

              Reps. Dennis Kucinich and Robert Wexler introduced 35 articles of impeachment against President George W. Bush in 2004 that centered on the Iraq War, Hurricane Katrina, global warming and the 2004 elections.

              Conyers filed a resolution in 2005 calling for Bush’s impeachment, and was still publicly advocating it by 2007. And Kucinich kept pushing for impeachment into Bush’s last months in office.

              Yes, it’s true that Republicans in the House actually did impeach President Clinton. But that effort came only after Clinton had clearly committed perjury, not as a way to express policy differences.

              https://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/democrats-want-to-impeach-a-republican-president-what-else-is-new/

              and:
              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impeachment_investigations_of_United_States_federal_officials

            • Mefrostate

               /  January 28, 2018

              Fox: “President Trump told top officials this past June that he wanted to fire special counsel Robert Mueller, but was talked out of doing so by White House counsel Don McGahn and other aides”

              “The source could neither confirm nor deny a New York Times report that Trump ordered Mueller’s dismissal, but backed down when McGahn threatened to resign instead.”

              NYT: “President Trump ordered the firing last June of Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel overseeing the Russia investigation, according to four people told of the matter, but ultimately backed down after the White House counsel threatened to resign rather than carry out the directive.”

              WaPo: “President Trump sought the firing of Robert S. Mueller III last June, shortly after the special counsel took over the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, and he backed off only after White House Counsel Donald F. McGahn threatened to resign over the move.”

              So all three report Trump desire to fire Mueller and McGahn advising him not to. You’ll note that when I shared my thoughts on these reports, I focused on Trump’s desire.

              There is certainly inconsistency between the three outlets over whether he actually ordered the firing, with NYT’s sources confirming it, WaPo using “sought” and Fox’s source neither confirming nor denying.

              Trump’s fake news response is inappropriate, since at least part of the reporting (that he wanted to fire Mueller) is clearly true. It’s bad that he attacked the media rather than address the issue.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  January 28, 2018

              That Trump wanted to fire Mueller is not even news. It was reported last June. Blowing this nonsense up now is the epitome of fake news.

            • Mefrostate

               /  January 28, 2018

              It doesn’t surprise me that you would describe it that way.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  January 28, 2018

              And it doesn’t surprise me that you won’t admit your falsehoods.

            • Mefrostate

               /  January 28, 2018

              Which ones? Be quite specific, with quotes ideally.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  January 28, 2018

              Mefro: I’ll note again that it was confirmed separately by WaPo, NYT, and even the fiercely pro-Trump Fox confirmed it

              Fox: A source told Fox News that Trump did not tell White House Counsel Don McGahn to fire Mueller, but did discuss the possibility of doing so during a meeting with McGahn and others.

            • Mefrostate

               /  January 28, 2018

              When I said “it was confirmed”, I assumed that readers would refer to the Fox quotes in Pete’s post, whereby Fox do indeed confirm it (that Trump wanted Mueller fired). Note again that my opining on the matter referred only to Trump’s desire. There is clearly no falsehood or untruth.

              Addituinly, at the time of posting the quoted text I was not aware that Fox had subsequently posted a separate report, which again confirmed the desire but contested whether a directive had been issued.

              So, all three outlets confirm the desire.

              As for the directive, NYT report here was, WaPo use the word ‘sought’, and Fox (after first dismissing the NYT report, then confirming Trump wanted Mueller fired) eventually conclude with that “it might not have amounted to an outright directive”.

              After becoming aware of this new Fox report (by you), I clarified the above position of the three outlets in no uncertain terms, but despite doing so, you immediately accused me of falsehoods. I’d appreciate an apology for that, but don’t expect one.

              Now that’s dealt with, do you want to talk about you describing the reports as a “single anonymous source”, when NYT actually had four anonymous people? Seems like a falsehood to me, although I’m happy to assume Hanlon’s razor.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  January 28, 2018

              More rubbish, Mefro. “According to four people told of the matter” is not four sources. It is four people with apparent hearsay from at least one source.

              Mefro: Alan, based on the available reporting, do you think Trump tried to fire Mueller?
              Mefro” Note again that my opining on the matter referred only to Trump’s desire

              Nope, it was me who opined on Trump’s desire and you who assumed Trump tried to fire Mueller. So that is a second untruth from you.

              That Trump considered firing Mueller is not news. It was reported in June last year and was responded to by Democrats threatening to introduce legislation to stop him in the house or to reappoint him as a Senate investigator. Moreover, given Mueller’s behaviour, conflicts and partisan appointments it would have been remiss of Trump not to consider seriously whether that could or should be done.

              Only a half-wit could advance the notion that Trump should not desire to fire Mueller given the circumstances and of course there would be consideration within his team as to the pros and cons of that.

              The only “newsworthy” factor in this latest hit piece is the allegation that Trump actually ordered Mueller to be fired which seems pretty unlikely considering the actual process and sequence that would have been necessary. That allegation was not supported as you claimed – even in the quote PG cited .

              This is indeed a “fake news” storm in a teacup.

            • Mefrostate

               /  January 28, 2018

              See now you’ve shifted things such that me asking you whether you think Trump tried to fire Mueller is apparently equivalent to me claiming that Fox reported that Trump directed Mueller to be fired. I did no such thing, and the conflation is laughable.

              One more time, my claims about Fox were clearly in the context of both you and I discussing the desire. The Fox quote copied by Pete supports that desire.

              You’re correct that the new piece of reporting is that he actively sought that firing and was advised against it by his attorneys. We’re not going to agree on whether that occurred because you’ll dismiss almost anything negative about Trump.

              We’re also going to be unable to agree on whether it would be acceptable for Trump to fire Mueller, but in the event it comes up again I’d ask you try to avoid derailing the discussion with separate issues like the memo. We can discuss that elsewhere as it develops.

              As regards the “single anonymous source” I’ll accept that it passes as technically correct, and revoke the accusation of falsehood.

            • Gezza

               /  January 28, 2018

              Christ, I feel exhausted. I’ll say one thing for you both – you’ve got stamina!

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  January 28, 2018

              So you now accept that Trump was correct in calling the NYT allegation fake news since he did not order anyone to fire Mueller?

            • Mefrostate

               /  January 29, 2018

              No, if I’m tasked with trusting the word of Trump against that of NYT, I’m more inclined to believe the NYT. Trump lies all the time.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  January 29, 2018

              In fact it is Fox News’s source, not just Trump, vs NYT with WaPo on the sidelines (probably means its sources agree with Fox).

            • Mefrostate

               /  January 29, 2018

              Ok we won’t be able to agree on this

          • David

             /  January 27, 2018

            “Firing Comey is what sparked the special investigation,”

            Surely it was the Russian subversion of the US election that sparked the investigation? Remember them, the Russians?

            “trying to fire Mueller would have caused an even deeper constitutional crisis.”

            Explain? Trump is allowed to fire Mueller.

            “Call it obstructing justice while being investigated for obstruction of justice”

            Where is the obstruction of justice? What happened to all the Russians?

            • Mefrostate

               /  January 28, 2018

              Surely it was the Russian subversion of the US election that sparked the investigation? Remember them, the Russians?

              Yes but it was simply an FBI investigation into the Trump campaign at that stage. Trump firing Comey (for refusing to pledge loyalty) was the proximate cause of the special counsel investigation.

              Explain? Trump is allowed to fire Mueller.

              See here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/posteverything/wp/2018/01/26/yes-trump-can-fire-mueller-but-a-normal-president-would-know-not-to-try-it/

              Where is the obstruction of justice? What happened to all the Russians?

              I’m yet to be convinced that Trump himself broke the law with respect to the Russians – think we should wait for Mueller to finish up before we draw our own conclusions.

              But there are also important questions about whether firing Comey amounted to obstruction of justice. Firing Mueller would fan that flame. And, much like Nixon, it’s often not the crime but rather the cover-up that gets ya.

    • David

       /  January 27, 2018

      Quite looking forward to this, have been stunned by what has been revealed so far and feel there could be a few looking at some jail time.