Trump says Russia probe no factor in White House counsel exit

Posted at 8:02 AM, Aug 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-30 10:02:52-04

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Latest on the departure of White House counsel Don McGahn (all times local):

9:50 a.m.

President Donald Trump says the Russia investigation was not a factor, “even a little bit,” in his decision about White House counsel Don McGahn.

Trump announced Wednesday on Twitter that McGahn will depart in the fall, likely after Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s expected confirmation to the Supreme Court.

The president tweeted Thursday: “The Rigged Russia Witch Hunt did not come into play, even a little bit, with respect to my decision on Don McGahn!”

Word of McGahn’s departure followed a New York Times report earlier this month on McGahn’s extensive cooperation with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Trump has tweeted that he allowed McGahn to cooperate with the investigation, and that he has nothing to hide.

Trump calls the investigation a “witch hunt.”


Don McGahn
In this Aug. 21, 2018 photo, White House counsel Don McGahn, follows Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh to meetings on Capitol Hill in Washington. President Donald Trump is tweeting that his White House counsel, Don McGahn, will be departing in the fall after the Senate confirmation vote for Judge Brett Kavanaugh to serve on the Supreme Court. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

8:30 a.m.

President Donald Trump is signaling that he knows who will succeed White House counsel Don McGahn, saying he’s “very excited” about the individual.

Trump did not announce a successor in his tweet Thursday but said: “I am very excited about the person who will be taking the place of Don McGahn as White House Councel! I liked Don, but he was NOT responsible for me not firing Bob Mueller or Jeff Sessions. So much Fake Reporting and Fake News!”

Trump announced Wednesday on Twitter that McGahn will leave government in the fall, after the expected Senate confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Emmet Flood – the in-house counsel handling Mueller’s Russia investigation – has been considered a leading candidate to replace McGahn.


12:15 a.m.

There’s another job opening in the West Wing of the White House, this time for the position of president’s top lawyer.

White House counsel Don McGahn will be leaving the White House in the fall, adding to the record turnover in the 19-month-old Trump administration.

McGahn has been a key figure in the administration’s handling of the Russia investigation as he’s handled other legal storms for President Donald Trump.

In announcing McGahn’s departure, Trump said Wednesday that his counsel’s exit had nothing to do with McGahn’s interviews with the special counsel investigating possible Trump campaign collusion with Russia in the 2016 election.

McGahn has played a pivotal role in Trump’s remaking of the federal judiciary with young, conservative judges and has helped guide Supreme Court selections.

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