On Thursday night, the New York Times reported that President Trump tried to fire special counsel Robert Mueller last June. Trump ordered White House counsel Donald F. McGahn to oust Mueller, but backed down when McGahn threatened to resign.
Trump, however, has publicly denied even considering firing Mueller.
At a press briefing from his New Jersey golf club on August 10, 2017, Trump was asked if he had ever “thought about or considered” firing Mueller. “I haven’t given it any thought,” Trump responded.
Watch (starting at 14:19):
If the New York Times report is true, this was a lie. Just two months prior to this press conference, he had ordered Mueller fired.
Trump’s top aides made similar denials. In an August 6 interview on ABC News, Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway was asked if Trump was committed to not firing Mueller. “The president has not even discussed that… he has not discussed firing Bob Mueller,” Conway said.
Watch (starting at 14:57):
This was also a lie if the New York Times report is true.
In an interview with USA Today on August 8, Trump lawyer John Dowd said firing Mueller has “never been on the table, never.” Dowd added that the idea that Trump would try to fire Mueller was simply a “manifestation of the media.”