Trump blames McGahn for Mueller probe

Before departing as White House counsel, Don McGahn was blamed by President Trump for special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe. CNN's Kara Scannell has more.

Posted: Nov 1, 2018 10:28 AM
Updated: Nov 1, 2018 10:50 AM

Former White House Counsel Don McGahn ended his tumultuous tenure at the White House with one last encounter in which President Donald Trump blamed him for Robert Mueller's appointment, sources close to McGahn tell CNN.

In a face-to-face meeting Oval Office meeting, the President groused to McGahn about Mueller's appointment made on McGahn's watch as White House counsel, and the cloud the investigation has continued to cast over the presidency, the people familiar with the conversation said.

Sources say while the President was fixated on Mueller, he also gave McGahn high marks for other matters during his time as the top White House lawyer, as CNN previously reported. One source said the President's continued frustration about Mueller is another example of him shifting blame for the ongoing Russia investigation.

McGahn had decided it was time to go and he left before the background investigation was complete for the incoming White House counsel Pat Cipollone, one source familiar said.

"Typically you would have the incumbent stay until the successor was ready to take his place. But in this case, McGahn was tired of the President and the President was tired of McGahn." The source added while the departure was "positive," both men recognized it was time for McGahn to go. "He didn't want to stay on and the President didn't want him to stay."

The President had surprised McGahn months ago in announcing McGahn's planned departure on Twitter and surprised him again in announcing his successor in an Associated Press interview, so the final meeting fit with the deteriorated state of their relationship.

McGahn has cooperated extensively with special counsel Robert Mueller's probe, participating in several interviews spanning 30 hours. The conversations unnerved Trump, who didn't know the full extent of McGahn's discussions, two people familiar with his thinking told CNN in August.

He has also been the key architect of Trump's efforts to stack the federal courts with conservative judges and successfully steered Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Trump has repeatedly cited the successes of Gorsuch and Kavanaugh as part of his appeal to Republicans, and they will be a lasting legacy of the President.

Previous arguments with McGahn

This wasn't the first time McGahn found himself in Trump's crosshairs. The two butted heads at the start of the administration as Attorney General Jeff Sessions faced pressure to recuse himself from the Russia investigation. Trump enlisted McGahn to urge Sessions not to take that step — which he eventually did anyway. Trump remains furious at his attorney general for the recusal.

Later, Trump ordered McGahn to fire Mueller, an entreaty the White House counsel refused to carry out. Instead, McGahn threatened to resign.

The slew of incidents involving the President and McGahn amid the Russia investigation made the White House counsel an important witness in Mueller's investigation, with McGahn sitting for interviews with Mueller's team in December.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 664446

Reported Deaths: 12663
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion909511650
Lake48568884
Allen36004640
Hamilton32182398
St. Joseph30166513
Elkhart25453419
Vanderburgh21300382
Tippecanoe20143203
Johnson16407361
Porter16042276
Hendricks15877300
Clark12018181
Madison11776319
Vigo11660231
Monroe10379163
Delaware9870179
LaPorte9802198
Howard9083199
Kosciusko8582111
Bartholomew7488147
Warrick7438151
Hancock7428133
Floyd7243170
Wayne6648192
Grant6446157
Boone610989
Morgan6106126
Dubois5925112
Dearborn549969
Cass547299
Marshall5439105
Henry542594
Noble510578
Jackson465167
Shelby461991
Lawrence4193113
Harrison402564
Gibson402083
Clinton396753
Montgomery389683
DeKalb387178
Knox357885
Miami357863
Whitley350237
Huntington347377
Steuben339555
Wabash332676
Putnam331260
Ripley327862
Adams324749
Jasper318143
White297952
Jefferson295874
Daviess285696
Fayette272156
Decatur271188
Greene262080
Posey261431
Wells258675
Scott251350
LaGrange241870
Clay241444
Randolph225676
Spencer218930
Jennings216344
Washington212827
Sullivan203639
Fountain202142
Starke189051
Owen183253
Fulton179837
Jay178528
Carroll176619
Perry173736
Orange171250
Rush165322
Vermillion161442
Franklin159635
Tipton148441
Parke140016
Pike128233
Blackford120727
Pulaski107344
Newton96632
Brown95140
Benton92213
Crawford91713
Martin80314
Warren75914
Switzerland7558
Union67510
Ohio54011
Unassigned0432

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 974480

Reported Deaths: 16750
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1125851214
Cuyahoga964441832
Hamilton736841034
Montgomery47424903
Summit40474802
Butler35678505
Lucas35588685
Stark29495803
Warren22510271
Lorain22111414
Mahoning19532537
Lake18471318
Clermont18459201
Delaware16537116
Licking15037189
Fairfield14587180
Trumbull14381413
Greene13626218
Medina13448226
Clark12319248
Wood11604163
Portage11078164
Allen10804216
Richland10334183
Miami10048189
Muskingum8204112
Columbiana8160200
Pickaway8079107
Tuscarawas8063227
Marion8006125
Wayne7898193
Erie6925140
Ross6161128
Geauga6097136
Hancock6013116
Ashtabula5993152
Scioto597780
Lawrence527218
Union515237
Darke5040114
Belmont497659
Huron4838107
Jefferson4814107
Sandusky4785108
Seneca4709107
Washington470991
Athens465447
Mercer459180
Auglaize456480
Shelby442479
Knox4045101
Putnam400090
Madison394253
Ashland381381
Fulton381258
Defiance372983
Brown372244
Crawford359096
Logan356072
Preble353678
Clinton341152
Highland328649
Ottawa324869
Williams302962
Jackson290745
Champaign289249
Guernsey288444
Perry270447
Fayette269441
Morrow260934
Henry247058
Hardin246558
Holmes243493
Coshocton238054
Van Wert230154
Gallia223131
Adams217436
Pike216026
Wyandot211747
Hocking194754
Carroll181641
Paulding160530
Meigs135930
Noble129333
Monroe116927
Morgan101119
Harrison100724
Vinton76613
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Clear
35° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 21°
Feels Like: 29°
Angola
Clear
34° wxIcon
Hi: 44° Lo: 20°
Feels Like: 26°
Huntington
Partly Cloudy
34° wxIcon
Hi: 45° Lo: 20°
Feels Like: 30°
Fort Wayne
Clear
35° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 22°
Feels Like: 29°
Lima
Partly Cloudy
31° wxIcon
Hi: 45° Lo: 21°
Feels Like: 22°
Sunny & Seasonal Friday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events