Trump claims he instructed White House counsel to cooperate with Mueller
President Trump said Saturday that White House counsel Don McGahn is cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation on questions about possible obstruction of justice because Trump “allowed” him to.
The president tweeted Saturday that he had instructed McGahn and other White House staffers “to fully cooperate with the Special Counsel,” though a since-deleted first draft of the tweet misspelled Mueller’s title.
“I allowed White House Counsel Don McGahn, and all other requested members of the White House Staff, to fully cooperate with the Special Counsel,” he tweeted Saturday evening. “In addition we readily gave over one million pages of documents. Most transparent in history. No Collusion, No Obstruction. Witch Hunt!”
I allowed White House Counsel Don McGahn, and all other requested members of the White House Staff, to fully cooperate with the Special Counsel. In addition we readily gave over one million pages of documents. Most transparent in history. No Collusion, No Obstruction. Witch Hunt!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 18, 2018
Trump’s remarks come hours after The New York Times reported that McGahn gave over 30 hours of testimony to investigators.
The Times reported on Saturday that McGahn had grown concerned that Trump was preparing to set him up for a fall over the issue of possible obstruction of justice, prompting him to provide as much information as possible to Mueller’s investigation about multiple episodes that investigators are probing.
Among episodes McGahn reportedly discussed with the special counsel is Trump’s firing of former FBI Director James Comey and the president’s repeated prompting of Attorney General Jeff Sessions to claim oversight of the special counsel, despite his recusal from Mueller’s Russia probes.
The paper noted, however, that McGahn told Mueller’s investigators that he never saw the president.
John Dean, White House counsel under President Nixon, said earlier Saturday that he thought McGahn was doing the right thing.
Dean, who himself feared he would be used as a scapegoat for Watergate and was eventually fired by Nixon, tweeted “McGahn is doing right!”
The White House claimed that the president maintains a good relationship with his White House counsel.
“The president and Don have a great relationship. He appreciates all the hard work he’s done, particularly his help and expertise with the judges, and the Supreme Court,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.
The president and his allies have long dismissed the Mueller investigation as a “witch hunt” that should be shut down. The probe has resulted in the indictment of dozens of Russian nationals for U.S. election interference and several former Trump associates for charges unrelated to the 2016 election.
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