President Donald Trump announced that White House counsel Don McGahn – who cooperated with Special Counsel Robert Mueller but whom the president defended as not being a ‘RAT’ – will be leaving his post.
McGahn has cooperated with extensively with Mueller’s investigators, who have been probing Russian election interference as well as potential obstruction issues such as the firing of FBI Director James Comey.
But he did so with a green light from Trump’s original legal team. He also has been identified with Trump’s successful push to stack the judiciary with conservatives to lifetime appointments.
President Donald Trump announced that White House counsel Don McGahn will be leaving his post.
Trump sent off McGahn, who will be leaving the White House this fall, with a compliment in a Wednesday tweet.
‘White House Counsel Don McGahn will be leaving his position in the fall, shortly after the confirmation (hopefully) of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court,’ Trump wrote. ‘I have worked with Don for a long time and truly appreciate his service!’
Trump insisted McGan is ‘not a RAT’ in a tweet after a New York Times report on his cooperation, which included 30 hours of interviews.
The two men have clashed and have a tense relationship.
White House counsel Don McGahn, follows Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh to his meeting with Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018
Trump said McGahn (pictured in the back) would leave after what he wrote was the hopeful confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh (center) to the Supreme Court
Axios reported Wednesday morning on McGahn’s departure – based on anonymous sourcing. Also on Wednesday, Trump attacked anonymous sources and said they were fake and should not be believed.
According to the report, McGahn favors as his successor Emmett Flood, who represents Trump in the Russia probe from inside the White House.
Earlier this month Trump tore into a New York Times account, which characterized McGahn’s cooperation with Mueller as a potential threat to the White House.
Trump in a tweet invoked former White House counsel John Dean, who cooperated with prosecutors during Watergate, helping to ultimately bring down Richard Nixon.
‘The failing @nytimes wrote a Fake piece today implying that because White House Councel Don McGahn was giving hours of testimony to the Special Councel, he must be a John Dean type ‘RAT,’ Trump wrote. The president misspelled ‘counsel’ in the tweet.
‘But I allowed him and all others to testify – I didn’t have to. I have nothing to hide……’ the president added.
Dean responded: ”Trump, a total incompetent, is bungling and botching his handling of Russiagate. Fate is never kind to bunglers and/or botchers! Unlike Nixon, however, Trump won’t leave willingly or graciously.’
McGahn – who was present throughout the chaotic early days of the Trump administration as national security advisor Mike Flynn was fired, the travel ban was drafted, Trump fired Comey, Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself and Mueller was appointed – cooperated with the consent of Trump’s original legal team.
Trump’s current lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, told NBC’s ‘Meet the Press’ this month Trump didn’t did not raise executive privilege in hopes of bringing the probe to a speedy close.
‘The president encouraged him to testify, is happy that he did, is quite secure that there is nothing in the testimony that will hurt the president,’ Giuliani said.