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Trump Denies Reports He Ordered Mueller Fired


Using one of his favorite phrases to disparage the media, President Donald Trump on Friday denied reports that he called for special counsel Robert Mueller to be fired early last summer.

"Fake news, folks. Fake news," Trump said as he entered the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. "Typical New York Times."

Trump's order to fire Mueller was first reported by the New York Times, although other news organizations have since corroborated the report.

The president reportedly called for Mueller to be fired last June, shortly after the former FBI Director took over the investigation of Russian meddling in the presidential election.

Two people told the Times that Trump expressed concerns about three potential conflicts of interest, including a dispute over membership fees that prompted Mueller to resign from a Trump golf club.

Trump also cited Mueller's work at a law firm the previously represented his son-in-law Jared Kushner as well as the fact that Mueller had been interviewed for FBI director one day before he was appointed special counsel.

The reports said Trump ultimately backed down after White House counsel Don McGahn threatened to resign rather than carry out the order.

McGahn told senior White House officials that firing Mueller would have a catastrophic effect on Trump's presidency, according to the Times.

Trump has repeatedly called the investigation of collusion between his presidential campaign and the Russian government a politically motivated "witch hunt."

However, Trump told reporters during an informal news conference on Wednesday that he would speak to Mueller under oath.

"I'm looking forward to it, actually," Trump said when asked if he would meet with Mueller. "There has been no collusion whatsoever. There is no obstruction whatsoever. And I am looking forward to it."

(Photo: Michael Vadon)

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