NYT: Trump Ordered Mueller To Be Fired In June But White House Counsel Refused To Carry Out Order

donald_trump_president-elect_portrait_croppedThe New York Times has posted a blockbuster story that President Donald Trump ordered that Special Counsel Robert Mueller be fired last June but White House Counsel Donald F. McGahn II prevented the order from being carried out by threatening to resign.  If true, it is a chilling disclosure that such a clearly self-defeating and unwarranted act was not just considered but ordered.  The firing would have magnified calls for possible impeachment and would have led Congress to move on such options as the renewal of the Independent Counsel Act.  While I have written extensively (here and here and here) on Mueller’s conflicts of interest and why he should never have been considered for such a post, I have also stressed that any firing of Mueller would be an act of utter lunacy in the midst of this investigation.

Trump reportedly identified three conflicts of interest for Mueller stemming from (1)  a dispute over fees at Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Va. involving Mueller; (2) Mueller’s work for the law firm that previously represented the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner; and (3) the fact (that I have previously written about) that Mueller interviewed for Comey’s job after Comey was fired by Trump.

Again, I happen to agree that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein made a mistake in selecting Mueller. However, that does not mean that a firing of Mueller is warranted or wise. It is not.  Moreover, I expect Rosenstein would have also resigned rather than carry out such an order.

If this account is true, Trump was saved from committing a lethal self-inflicted wound by his counsel throwing himself in the path of the president.

98 thoughts on “NYT: Trump Ordered Mueller To Be Fired In June But White House Counsel Refused To Carry Out Order

  1. The bottom line is that Trump took no action so no hint of any wrong doing irrespective of whether he did or did not have the authority to fire Mueller. Given the NYTimes stellar record this looks like a feeble attempt to deflect attention from the Strzok-Page emails, Uranium One, botched Clinton investigation, Fusion GPS, …

    • The bottom line is that Trump took no action so no hint of any wrong doing irrespective of whether he did or did not have the authority to fire Mueller.

      If we were to boil this down to take out all the impurities of our personal biases, that really is the only legitimate conclusion to be drawn from this story.

      • Not to mention, this story came out back in the summer. It’s one of about 4 cyclical stories that seem to rotate in and out of public attention – there’s this, Russia, Trump’s fitness for office, and whether Trump harassed women.

        • Not to mention, this story came out back in the summer.

          Agreed. However, that of course is a fact that when brought up will be seen as a bias by those on the Right and if ignored, a bias by those on the Left. Ignore it or don’t ignore it, the overall conclusion remains the same.

          • Agree. This story is no more valid than alternative history theories…what if we’d lost the Koren War, what if Hitler survived WWII, what if Lincoln survived being shot, what if Nixon didn’t resign, etc. Such topics are interesting but they aren’t breaking news. In this case we’ve got a story of “Trump one time thought about doing _____” and then “he decided not to” so “nothing happened”. What a sad testimony to our media that they’re all trying to pretend this is a story.

    • I agree. In fact, if you think about it, this story shows us that Trump isn’t the unhinged nutcase the NYT wants us to think he is. To follow the story, Trump was in the White House and floated the idea of firing Mueller. People counseled him not to do so. And he took their advice and didn’t fire Mueller. A far cry from the autocratic fascist the left wants us to believe Trump to be.

  2. Yes, this was indeed breaking news from the Times: Donald Trump wanted to fire Mueller, but then didn’t end up firing him, according to anonymous leaks to hack reporters by “four people told of the matter” seven months ago.

  3. Release the Memo!! We don’t care about Trump allegedly wanting to fire Mueller (although I think it’s stupid on his part for not doing so – the FBI needs to be cleaned up so those with integrity can do their jobs)

  4. If wanting to do something were a high crime or misdemeanor, we’d probably have to install a revolving door at the White House. I don’t care if the story is true or not. If the man whom everyone knows by his you’re fired line hadn’t privately or even publicly considered firing Mueller, then I would think him to be out of character. The President is surrounded by a team of people that he should trust to advise him on whatever action he can take to achieve what he wants. So he says I WANT MUELLER FIRED! And he’s advised that he cannot do that. And Mueller is not fired, then…end of story.

    • Olly

      Trump ORDERED the W.H. counsel to fire Mueller. That’s goes to the issue of attempted obstruction of justice.

      • That’s goes to the issue of attempted obstruction of justice.

        Mueller is a subordinate within the executive branch. If the President believes Mueller would be unable to run an impartial investigation due to conflicts of interest, then it is within his authority to fire him. ORDERING the firing of Mueller is not the same as ORDERING the investigation to be shutdown. His WH counsel advises the President that carrying out that order would be seen as obstruction, despite the fact someone else would replace Mueller. The President DOES NOT fire Mueller and the investigation rolls on.

        When President Trump’s thought crimes become actual crimes, then let us know.

  5. Thanks Jim,

    I hate to be a skeptic but there have been so many bogus stories from the mainstream media since Trump has been in office….and isn’t it funny that a bunch of them have occurred since all the corruption of the Mueller’s hiring of political partisans in the FBI on his team. Interesting coincidence I’m sure.

    Cheers

    Bill

    >

  6. I would hope he considered any possible conflicts Mueller may have had. I would also hope that he took advice of his counsel when the time came to make the decision.
    We have sectors of the media micturating themsleves about the “threat to democracy!” while simultaneously arguing that we should not question the actions of senior law enforcement or intel officials.

    A rogue President is easier to detect and check than a rogue police/ intelligence apparatus, yet so many journalists seem incurious about that possible scenario.

    • ti317 – re “A rogue President is easier to detect and check than a rogue police/ intelligence apparatus, yet so many journalists seem incurious about that possible scenario.”

      It’s not that the presstitutes are incurious – it doesn’t suit them to pursue truth

  7. Mueller should have been fired the second he was appointed, not because there is something wrong with him, but because the Russia-Trump-Collusion story is entirely fabricated. It started July 24th, 2016, here:

    Robby Mook planted an insinuation that was repeated and amplified – entirely fact-free – by certain Democrats and which brought us to the brink of World War III.
    The purpose of all investigations into this matter was solely to obfuscate the utter absence of direct evidence and to raise the level of importance in the view of the public, because “if there is an investigation there must be something to it”. There is not.
    It is not too late to fire Mueller and put an end to the charade, and hit back by holding those responsible for this orchestrated mass delusion accountable. Just analyze who said what when and how much water it holds, and Adam Schiff and his co-conspirators can finally get their punishment.

  8. You gotta love the inconsistent stories. The media, desperately attempts to portray Trump as an impetuous, unbalanced being, who listens to no one, behaves like a child and acts with wild abandon. He is painted as a wildcard–a man, who flies by the seat of his pants, adamantly refusing to seek or accept the counsel of those advisors surrounding him. Then, when that tactic doesn’t appear to work in creating enough damage, the narrative suddenly shifts to one where Trump actively pursues and seeks the counsel and advice of those around him, tempering his instincts and curtailing his behavior to conform with the advice of his attorneys and advisors. If this particular story is to be believed, than the narrative about Trump, being so out of control, where he acts without considering the direction of his advisors, conflicts with this latest tale, where it appears as though he does, in fact, respond to advice and direction given by those in his administration.

    • Because consistency isn’t necessary to the Left on all things Trump. All that it needs to be is a negative headline. Which makes me ask once again, why would any self-respecting white person vote for a Democrat???

      Squeeky Fromm
      Girl Reporter

      • SqueKKKy — The Left Coast state of Washington, with considerable immigration from Norway a hundred years ago, has a different perspective on the advantages of the Democratic Party. Don’t be so narrow minded.

      • sf,

        normally, Republicans claim to be law and order supporters, but consistency isn’t necessary to the Right, when it comes to all things sleazy Trump. All that they need to deflect attention away from his sleaze and obstruction of justice is a headline about his adultery with a porn star, which raises the question of why any self-respecting, honest person would vote for a Republican?

        “There’s only one political party in this country: the Property Party. It has two wings.”
        G.Vidal

      • bam bam said, “You gotta love the inconsistent stories . . . the narrative suddenly shifts to one where Trump actively pursues and seeks the counsel and advice of those around him, tempering his instincts and curtailing his behavior to conform with the advice of his attorneys and advisors.”

        bam bam did not read the story. Trump did not actively seek the advice of WH counsel McGahn. There’s no inconsistency in the NYT story today versus any NYT story in the past. That can be easily confirmed by the links L4D provided. But there’s a catch: One has actually to read the reports one would critique as being inconsistent in order to discover that those reports are not inconsistent.

        • The bottom line is this–now, try to follow. . .did Trump fire Mueller? Yes or no? Simple question. Did he, in fact, listen to his counsel and follow his advice? Yes or no? It is very clear. . .again, try to follow. . .there are a lot of “almosts” in life. Yes. ALMOSTS. I “almost” hit a car on the way to work, but I didn’t. I “almost” bought a dress that I was contemplating purchasing, but I didn’t. You see, “almosts” don’t count in this world. ALMOSTS are inconsequential, but you keep reading about “almosts” and lecturing the rest of us how crucial acts, which never transpire and only live in your imagination, should be interpreted. Who the f cares what deliberations and discussions preceded to the decision to ALMOST fire Mueller? Knuckleheads like you consistently bash Trump for, allegedly, not listening to his advisors. Now, how does this latest fairytale comport with that reputation? Obviously, he does, in fact, take the advice of those surrounding him. A threat to quit? You think that a threat to quit frightens Trump? Too funny. Said individual, who, purportedly, threatened to quit, is replaceable, in a heartbeat. Actually, in less than a heartbeat. You think that DC has a shortage of attorneys? Only fools like you care about “almosts”–non-events, where the President, for whatever reason, chose to take a certain path and not another. It’s called, life. Some of us have one. Others wish that they did, living their lives contemplating ALMOSTS that never transpire. Please, for the love of God, get a life. Oh, and by the way, go play the lottery today. Maybe you can ALMOST hit the big one?

  9. The worst part is we’ll have to skip turleys blog tomorrow it will be all fifty paragraph crap from the anonymous comrade machine tools of the left

  10. So, was Mueller fired? No. Were all the sources anonymous, as usual? Yes. And how about the timing of this story?

    Isn’t it curious that this NYT story comes out today just in time to step all over the favorable coverage Trump is getting during his trip to Davos to attend the World Economic Forum where he is getting an enthusiastic welcome while also hosting productive meetings with global business leaders who have nothing but praise for Trump’s tax cuts and the growth that his economic policies are creating?

    And look who co-wrote the NYT story….none other than Maggie Haberman who was outed in the Wikileaks Podesta emails as a total hack for Hillary Clinton and the Democrats. And also Michael Schmidt, another hack, who was the reporter Comey — or his cutout — chose to leak his ‘memos’ to — and then Schmidt put the story out there even though he had never even see the actual ‘memos’ himself. He relied on second-hand details being told to him. You call that journalism?

    • TBob said, “So, was Mueller fired? No.”

      McGahn threatened to resign when Trump ordered him to fire Mueller. And it’s a good thing for Trump that he didn’t fire Mueller on Trump’s own recognizance. Trump supporters and defenders ought properly thank McGahn for that bit of good luck. You see, TBob, the situation today remains the same as it was back in June of 2017.

      Either Trump has nothing to hide in the way of criminal culpability. Or Trump has something to hide in the way of criminal culpability. Firing Mueller does not change the outcome from that dilemma. Instead, firing Mueller would heighten the appearance that Trump has something to hide in the way of criminal culpability; since firing Mueller would be inconsistent with the notion that Trump has nothing to hide in the way of criminal culpability.

      This report is not good news for Trump. The only good news from this report is that Trump didn’t fire Mueller.

      • Do you think it’s possible that if Trump actually ordered Mueller fired and McGhan refused to carry out a presidential order that McGhan would have likely been shown the door along with Mueller? Is it also possible that during a private, internal meeting with his advisors Trump raised the question about firing Mueller…and his advisors, including McGhan, gave him feedback as to why firing Mueller would not be wise politically, and then Trump weighed the advice and chose not to fire Mueller at that time…and that no official order was ever given?

        You seem to believe that Trump has something to hide in the way of criminal culpability? I happen to believe that this is a politically motivated, possibly corrupt investigation full of strategically-timed and illegal leaks that has everything to do with stopping Trump and forcing him out of office and out of Washington DC at all costs.

        • Or…this Mueller probe could turn out to be one of the greatest sting operations in the history of Washington. And that Trump meant it when he said he would drain the swamp. 😉

        • Tbob,
          It would seem as though the anti-Trump crowd truly believes that President Trump could fire his way out of this investigation without consequences. This whole thing reminds me of The Law of Holes, especially the 2nd; If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging, come out of it, and then fill it in to keep it from becoming a hazard. The more Mueller and company dig , the deeper their own problems become.

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