WHEN THE call came in from Maggie Haberman, everything ground to a halt on Anderson Cooper‘s show.
What Haberman reported came as no shock to anyone around here. As I’ve been writing since the special counsel investigation began, President Trump can’t afford to sit down with Mueller or his investigators.
To recap: Trump asked Comey for loyalty; asked him to drop the Flynn probe; fired Comey; pressured Sessions not to recuse; pressured Sessions to fire McCabe; pressured Coats, Rogers, Pompeo &multiple congressmen to say he wasn’t under FBI investigation; and tried to fire Mueller.
— Natasha Bertrand (@NatashaBertrand) January 26, 2018
The Trump presidency depends on it.
From Haberman and Michael Schmidt in The New York Times
WASHINGTON — President Trump ordered the firing last June of Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel overseeing the Russia investigation, according to four people told of the matter, but ultimately backed down after the White House counsel threatened to resign rather than carry out the directive.
The West Wing confrontation marks the first time Mr. Trump is known to have tried to fire the special counsel. Mr. Mueller learned about the episode in recent months as his investigators interviewed current and former senior White House officials in his inquiry into whether the president obstructed justice.
The case made by the President’s team against Robert Mueller is conflict of interest. It’s a lame attempt that wouldn’t cut it, as you’ll see when you read the Times piece.
Another option that Mr. Trump considered in discussions with his advisers was dismissing the deputy attorney general, Rod J. Rosenstein, and elevating the Justice Department’s No. 3 official, Rachel Brand, to oversee Mr. Mueller. Mr. Rosenstein has overseen the investigation since March, when Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself.
Mr. Trump has significantly ratcheted back his criticisms of Mr. Mueller since he hired Mr. Cobb for his legal team in July. A veteran of several high-profile Washington controversies, Mr. Cobb has known Mr. Mueller for decades, dating to their early careers in the Justice Department.
Ty Cobb seems to be the only person around Trump who understands the ramifications of firing Robert Mueller.
It won’t stop Trump from firing Mueller.
Meanwhile, the President fakes out Republicans who continue to provide cover for an unfit man who’s endangering American lives.
CNN: Trump tried to fire Mueller
MSNBC: Trump tried to fire Mueller
Fox News: Here’s a photo of Obama and Farrakhan from 2005 pic.twitter.com/gvZGx8cZad
— Dave Itzkoff (@ditzkoff) January 26, 2018
Who leaked this? Probably McGahn (perhaps with Cobb).
Why now? Well, its effect will presumably be a negative reaction to firing Mueller. Which may well mean Trump recently returned to the idea, and this is a desperate effort by McGahn to stop him again. https://t.co/a0uGeNwYFQ
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) January 26, 2018