President Donald Trump lashed out at Don McGahn on Saturday, tweeting that he was “Never a big fan” of the former White House counsel amid an ongoing battle between House Democrats and the administration over documents and testimony related to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
“I was NOT going to fire Bob Mueller, and did not fire Bob Mueller. In fact, he was allowed to finish his Report with unprecedented help from the Trump Administration,” the president wrote online. “Actually, lawyer Don McGahn had a much better chance of being fired than Mueller. Never a big fan!”
The broadside follows a Friday report by The Wall Street Journal that McGahn rebuffed a request from the White House last month to publicly state that he did not believe the president obstructed justice when Trump ordered McGahn to seek Mueller’s firing in June 2017.
According to the redacted version of the special counsel’s report released by the Justice Department in April, Trump instructed McGahn to inform Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein that Mueller must be removed. McGahn refused Trump’s subsequent request to refute press reports of the president’s directive, according to Mueller’s report.
McGahn, who stepped down as the White House’s top lawyer in October, was one of Mueller’s most prolific witnesses within the upper echelons of the Trump administration. But on Tuesday, he refused to comply with a congressional subpoena from the House Judiciary Committee to produce documents having to do with Mueller’s probe, deferring to the White House.
The committee’s subpoena also demanded that McGahn testify publicly on May 21, though it remains unclear whether he will appear before the panel.
Trump told Fox News last week that McGahn should not testify before Congress, and previously denied in a tweet last month that he charged McGahn with ousting Mueller.
“As has been incorrectly reported by the Fake News Media, I never told then White House Counsel Don McGahn to fire Robert Mueller, even though I had the legal right to do so,” the president wrote online. “If I wanted to fire Mueller, I didn’t need McGahn to do it, I could have done it myself.”