Trump’s White House doesn’t want Donald F. McGahn II, his former White House counsel, to go before the House and tell his story….
The one he told the Mueller people in over 100 hours of testimony….
White House officials believed that Mr. McGahn asserting his belief publicly would calm the president and help the administration push back on the episodes that Mr. Mueller detailed in the obstruction section of the report, said one of the people. Neither would be named describing private conversations involving the White House and spoke on condition of anonymity.
“We did not perceive it as any kind of threat or something sinister,” Mr. Burck said in a statement. “It was a request, professionally and cordially made.” A White House spokeswoman did not immediately return a message seeking comment.
White House officials asked Mr. McGahn again to put out a statement in the days after the report was released as Mr. Trump fumed about Mr. McGahn’s disclosures but he rebuffed the second request as well.
Around that time, the president’s lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, began publicly attacking Mr. McGahn and questioned his credibility, saying that he had a bad memory. “It can’t be taken at face value,” Mr. Giuliani said of Mr. McGahn’s account one day after the report was released. “It could be the product of an inaccurate recollection or could be the product of something else.”
Mr. McGahn’s cooperation with Mr. Mueller played a key role in allowing the special counsel’s investigators to paint a picture in their report of a president determined to use his power atop the executive branch to protect himself from the Russia investigation….