Speed Reads

white house drama

Report: Trump sought to fire Mueller in December

After hearing news reports in early December that Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office was issuing subpoenas for information about his business dealings with Deutsche Bank, President Trump became so angry that he told advisers the investigation needed to be shut down, eight White House officials and people close to Trump told The New York Times.

Trump's advisers and lawyers scrambled to get more information from Mueller's office, and were told that the reports were inaccurate, which calmed Trump down. This was the second time he considered getting rid of Mueller; last June, White House Counsel Don McGahn threatened to quit unless Trump stopped pushing him to fire Mueller. At the time, Trump said Mueller should be let go for a variety of reasons, including that he once had a dispute with a Trump golf course near Washington, D.C. Trump told the Times last year that he had set a "red line" that Mueller's investigation should not cross.

One former adviser told the Times that people close to Trump have learned to wait for him to bring up an issue three times before they act on it, and most aides are used to hearing him complain about the special counsel, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. For more on the December incident and Trump's state of mind, visit The New York Times.