President Trump, commenting for the first time on reports that he tried to fire special counsel Robert S. Mueller III in June, called the story “fake news.”

“Fake news, folks. Fake news. Typical New York Times fake stories,” he said when asked about the reports Friday as he attended the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

But he did not go into further detail or explicitly deny the story.

The Times story, citing four sources, which was confirmed by The Washington Post, CNN and other news outlets, said Trump backed down from firing Mueller after White House counsel Donald F. McGahn II refused to relay his wishes to the Justice Department and threatened to quit.

Fox News’s Ed Henry offered a variation, saying Trump “told top officials this past June that he wanted to fire” Mueller but “was talked out of doing so” by McGahn and “other aides.” Fox cited “a source close to the White House.”

Two months after the reported attempt, Trump said publicly that he had not given “any thought” to firing Mueller.

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