US President Donald Trump ordered the firing of Robert Mueller, the special counsel overseeing the Russia investigation, in last June but ultimately backed down after his White House counsel threatened to resign rather than carry out the directive, a media report said.
However, when questioned about the same in Davos on Friday, US President Donald Trump denied that he had ordered Special Counsel Robert Mueller fired last June, calling it "fake news".
McGahn told senior White House officials that firing Mueller would have a "catastrophic effect" on Trump's presidency. He also told officials that Trump would not follow through on the dismissal on his own. The President then backed off.
McGahn, a longtime Republican campaign finance lawyer in Washington who served on the Federal Election Commission, was the top lawyer on Trump's campaign. He has been involved in nearly every key decision the President has made -- like the firing of former FBI Director James Comey - that was being scrutinized by Mueller.
The White House counsel was also concerned that firing Mueller would incite more questions about whether Trump campaign was trying to obstruct the investigation into Russian meddling in 2016 presidential elections, CNN reported.
The President and Russia have repeatedly denied the accusation.
Two people told the Times that Trump expressed concern over three possible conflicts of interest, including a dispute Mueller had involving Trump National Golf Club, the law firm Mueller previously had worked at acted for President's son-in-law Jared Kushner and the fact that Mueller had recently been interviewed to head the FBI.
The discussion over Mueller's potential conflicts of interest in June 2017 arose following reports that Mueller was looking into a possible obstruction of justice case.
On Wednesday, Trump said he was "looking forward" to being interviewed by Mueller in the investigation into the alleged Russian meddling. "I would do it under oath," he said.
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