Politics

Jared and Ivanka Did Not Force McGahn Out, Trump Asserts

President hints he has a new top White House lawyer in mind

Ivanka Trump walks through the Capitol last fall. Her father is denying a report she forced out White House Counsel Don McGahn. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo

Updated 9:27 a.m. | Departing White House Counsel Don McGahn was not forced out by Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, President Donald Trump contended Thursday.

He also used a tweet to claim the Justice Department's Russia election meddling probe did not play a role in his "decision" to remove McGhan, the first time the president has hinted he decided to find a new White House chief attorney. And he charged NBC News with "fudging" the video of a 2017 interview in which he linked his firing of former FBI Director James Comey to the Russia meddling investigation. 

The president started the day with several tweets lashing out at “Fake News Media,” which he dubbed “totally dishonest” and an “Enemy of the People.” But one article in particular seemed to irk him: a Wednesday New York Times piece, citing multiple sources, that his daughter and son-in-law forced McGahn out of his post as the White House’s top lawyer.

The newspaper included in that article a paragraph that stated McGahn “had been a frequent target of Mr. Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, and son-in-law, Jared Kushner.” And the patriarch in chief noticed.

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He tweeted his contention that Ivanka Trump and Kushner “had NOTHING to do with the so called ‘pushing out’ of Don McGahn.” The president added his claim that the “Fake News Media has it, purposely, so wrong!”

The president used one tweet to tease that he has a replacement already for McGahn, and to contend the top White House lawyer did not, as has been reported, convince him to opt against firing Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller. 

“I am very excited about the person who will be taking the place of Don McGahn as White House Councel!” he tweeted, again misspelling counsel. “I liked Don, but he was NOT responsible for me not firing Bob Mueller or Jeff Sessions. So much Fake Reporting and Fake News!”

In yet another social media post, Trump added to the McGahn drama, writing this: "The Rigged Russia Witch Hunt did not come into play, even a little bit, with respect to my decision on Don McGahn!"

In an earlier Thursday morning tweet, the president wrote this about the media: “Truth doesn’t matter to them, they only have their hatred & agenda."

Even as aides scurried about Wednesday following Trump’s announcement that McGhan will leave his post this fall after the expected confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, the president contended all is well at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

Media outlets “love to portray chaos in the White House when they know that chaos doesn’t exist,” he tweeted, added the West Wing is “just a ‘smooth running machine’ with changing parts!”

The president earlier this summer shrugged off the high rate of turnover among his staff members compared with other recent administrations. He said aides come and go, and that no one stays in a White House job for that long.

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On Wednesday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said there is “really not” a major reason McGahn is leaving this fall.

“He’s worked for the president for a long time,” she said. “They have a good relationship. There’s really not a lot to add here.”

Watch: McCain vs. Trump: Can the President Give Up the Spotlight?

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