President Trump on Saturday took a swipe at Donald McGahn, saying the former White House counsel “had a much better chance of being fired” than special counsel Robert S. Mueller III.
Trump’s remarks, made in an evening tweet, came after reports that McGahn had declined a request by the president last month to issue a public statement that he did not believe Trump had engaged in criminal conduct when he sought to exert control over the special counsel’s Russia investigation.
“I was NOT going to fire Bob Mueller, and did not fire Bob Mueller,” Trump said in the tweet. “In fact, he was allowed to finish his Report with unprecedented help from the Trump Administration. Actually, lawyer Don McGahn had a much better chance of being fired than Mueller. Never a big fan!”
McGahn had told the special counsel’s office that he did not think Trump’s actions rose to the level of obstruction of justice, two people familiar with his interviews told The Washington Post.
According to people familiar with the discussions, the White House contacted an attorney for McGahn requesting a statement making public what McGahn had told Mueller’s team.
But the lawyer declined on McGahn’s behalf, in part because Attorney General William P. Barr had already concluded that there was insufficient evidence to accuse Trump of criminal obstruction.
Carol D. Leonnig contributed to this report.