Speed Reads

the mueller report

Read Don McGahn's account of the wild night after Trump asked him to 'do crazy sh-t'

A significant part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, made public in redacted form on Thursday, involved looking into if President Trump tried to obstruct justice. While Mueller was unable to reach a conclusion on that front, he did detail in great length an episode in which Trump tried to get him fired.

On June 17, 2017, Trump apparently called his White House counsel, Donald F. McGahn, and ordered him to fire Mueller over a supposed conflict of interest. "You gotta do this," McGahn recalled Trump saying, with the president directing him to call Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to do the deed.

McGahn was "perturbed by the call" and "did not intend to act on the request," Mueller wrote, noting that McGahn and Trump's other advisers had thought the conflicts alleged by Trump were "silly" and "not real." Trump apparently called McGahn a second time, asking "have you done it?" and demanding "call me back when you do it." Mueller wrote that "to end the conversation with the president, McGahn left the president with the impression that McGahn would call Rosenstein" although in actuality "he just wanted to get off the phone."

Because McGahn refused to follow Trump's order, he decided to resign and began preparations, which involved, apparently, telling then-Chief-of-Staff Reince Priebus that the president had asked him to "do crazy sh-t." Priebus and Stephen Bannon urged McGahn not to quit and to just ignore the president.

When Trump and McGahn next saw each other, Mueller writes, "the president did not ask McGahn whether he had followed through with calling Rosenstein." Read the full section of the report below, via The Toronto Star's Daniel Dale. Jeva Lange