Trump was pressed on McGahn’s testimony in an ABC News interview that aired Friday, specifically on McGahn’s recollection of the president wanting Special Counsel Robert Mueller to be fired.
“I was never going to fire Mueller,” Trump argued. “I never suggested firing Muller.”
McGahn contributed to the Mueller investigation with nearly 30 hours of voluntary interviews. In the report, McGahn mentions multiple occasions where the president wanted Mueller out.
“I don’t care what he says. It doesn’t matter,” Trump pushed back. “That was to show everyone what a good counsel he was.”
Trump continued, saying that McGahn would lie under oath “because he wanted to make himself look like a good lawyer.”
“Or he believed it because I would constantly tell anybody that would listen, including you, including the media, that Robert Mueller was conflicted,” Trump added. “Robert Mueller had a total conflict of interest.”
When pressed why he didn’t just testify to Mueller himself, Trump paused.
“Because they were looking to get us for lies, for slight misstatements,” the president said.
Watch the video below:
.@ABC EXCLUSIVE: Pres. Trump tells @GStephanopoulos he never suggested firing special counsel Robert Mueller—and what ex-White House counsel Don McGahn told Mueller “doesn’t matter." https://t.co/jFVGSSMuyr pic.twitter.com/pXlZ2Z5B4F
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) June 14, 2019
The Mueller report detailed multiple instances where McGahn was conflicted after being asked to fire the special counsel.
From the report:
“McGahn was concerned about having any role in asking the Acting Attorney General to fire the Special Counsel because he had grown up in the Reagan era and wanted to be more like Judge Robert Bork and not ‘Saturday Night Massacre Bork.’ McGahn considered the President’s request to be an inflection point and wanted to hit the brakes.”
From the report:
“He called his lawyer, drove to the White House, packed up his office, prepared to submit a resignation letter with his chief of staff, told Priebus that the President had asked him to ‘do crazy sh*t,’ and informed Priebus and Bannon that he was leaving. Those acts would be a highly unusual reaction to a request to convey information to the Department of Justice.”