WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump called for special counsel Robert Mueller’s firing last June, The New York Times reported Thursday evening, citing four people told of the matter.
But the President never went through with the order, according to the Times report, because White House counsel Don McGahn threatened to quit instead of carrying out the order.
“We decline to comment out of respect for the Office of the Special Counsel and its process,” White House lawyer Ty Cobb told CNN.
Two people told the Times that Trump expressed concern over three possible conflicts of interest, including a dispute Mueller had involving Trump National Golf Club, the law firm Mueller previously had worked at and the fact that Mueller had recently been interviewed to head the FBI.
Mueller is currently investigating any possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 election. Trump has repeatedly denied any collusion between his campaign and Russia.
Mueller’s is just one of several ongoing investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election.
CNN confirmed Tuesday that both former FBI Director James Comey and Attorney General Jeff Sessions had been interviewed by the special counsel’s team.
On Wednesday, Trump said he wants to speak with Mueller.
“I am looking forward to it, actually,” Trump said, when asked if he was going to talk to Mueller. “Here is the story: There has been no collusion whatsoever. There is no obstruction whatsoever. And I am looking forward to it.”
And later, he told reporters that he would do so under oath.
“I would do it under oath. I would do it,” he said, later adding, “I would do it under oath, yeah.”
Later Wednesday, Cobb responded to Trump’s comments: “While Mr. Trump was speaking hurriedly before departing for Davos, he remains committed to continued complete cooperation with the OSC and is looking forward to speaking with Mr. Mueller.”
Cobb added that the arrangements are still being worked out between Mueller’s team and the President’s personal lawyers.