President Trump on Thursday claimed that he never told his own White House counsel Don McGahn to fire Robert Mueller, directly contradicting what McGahn told Mueller according to the special counsel’s report on Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and Trump’s repeated efforts to obstruct the probe.
“As has been incorrectly reported by the Fake News Media, I never told then White House Counsel Don McGahn to fire Robert Mueller, even though I had the legal right to do so,” Trump tweeted. “If I wanted to fire Mueller, I didn’t need McGahn to do it, I could have done it myself.
“Nevertheless,” the president continued, “Mueller was NOT fired and was respectfully allowed to finish his work on what I, and many others, say was an illegal investigation (there was no crime), headed by a Trump hater who was highly conflicted, and a group of 18 VERY ANGRY Democrats. DRAIN THE SWAMP!”
He added: “Despite the fact that the Mueller Report was ‘composed’ by Trump Haters and Angry Democrats, who had unlimited funds and human resources, the end result was No Collusion, No Obstruction. Amazing!”
A redacted version of Mueller’s 448-page report released last week concluded that the Russian government interfered in the 2016 election “in sweeping and systemic fashion.” The report found no conspiracy between Russia and Trump’s campaign. But while the special counsel declined to charge Trump with obstruction of justice, investigators explicitly refused to exonerate the president.
“If we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the President clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state,” the report read. “We are unable to reach that judgment.”
Mueller chronicled at least 10 episodes of efforts by Trump to obstruct the federal probe. McGahn told investigators that Trump asked him twice to tell Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to fire Mueller. Fearing that such a firing would trigger another “Saturday Night Massacre,” like the one carried out by President Richard Nixon in 1973, McGahn decided to quit, telling then-White House chief of staff Reince Priebus that the president had asked him to “do crazy s***.”
McGahn took extensive notes of his conversations with the president, which he shared with the special counsel.
A day after the report was released, Trump suggested without evidence that McGahn and other witnesses who said they took notes actually didn't — and had lied to the federal prosecutors in their interviews.
“Statements are made about me by certain people in the Crazy Mueller Report, in itself written by 18 Angry Democrat Trump Haters, which are fabricated & totally untrue,” the president tweeted. “Watch out for people that take so-called ‘notes,’ when the notes never existed until needed.”
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., on Monday issued a subpoena for McGahn to testify before the committee.
Speaking to reporters on the White House lawn Wednesday, Trump vowed to resist the requests.
“We’re fighting all the subpoenas,” he said.
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