NYT: Trump Tried to Fire Robert Mueller Last June

Prensa Internacional/ZUMAPRESS

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Last May, Robert Mueller was appointed special prosecutor after Donald Trump fired FBI director James Comey. Within a month, according to the New York Times, Trump wanted to fire him too:

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….After receiving the president’s order to fire Mr. Mueller, the White House counsel, Donald F. McGahn II, refused to ask the Justice Department to dismiss the special counsel, saying he would quit instead, the people said. They spoke on the condition of anonymity because they did not want to be identified discussing a continuing investigation.

This was back in the days when conservatives had just started testing out possible attack lines against Mueller: he’d had a fight over fees with a Trump golf club; he had worked for a firm that represented Jared Kushner; and he was angry at not being chosen to replace Comey at the FBI. Those seem almost quaint now that Mueller is routinely painted as a full-blown Hillary Clinton shill and traitor to his country on Fox News every night.

McGahn was almost certainly correct last June: the blowback from firing Mueller really would have been enormous, possibly even leading to impeachment charges. But maybe not anymore. Republicans have now spent so much time demonizing Mueller and the FBI that Trump might be able to get away with it. He’d certainly have the rock solid support of the entire conservative media establishment, which would immediately go into overdrive explaining that the investigation has been a plot from the very start by the Democratic Party and the Deep State to get rid of a president who’s promised to end their corrupt hegemony over American politics. And there are plenty of members of Congress who’d join right in.

These are bad times. I hope we get through them OK.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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