It was long anticipated that White House counsel Don McGahn would depart the White House as soon as his crowning achievement — the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court — was complete.
But tensions between President Donald Trump and McGahn also played a part in the White House counsel’s impending exit, as relations between the two men started to ebb as soon as Trump stepped foot in the Oval Office, Politico reported. Trump would regularly place the blame on McGahn for his frustrations with the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller, the backlash over his faulty travel ban and his attorney general’s decision to recuse himself from the Russia probe.
The two men’s main point of contention centered on the Russia investigation and McGahn’s role in managing it. The pair routinely fell into skirmishes over Trump’s belief that McGahn should’ve been doing more to squash it, according to four current and former administration officials who spoke to Politico. McGahn even threatened to resign last year after Trump prompted him to fire Mueller.
Amid these disagreements, the two men largely “avoided each other,” on former administration official told Politico, and tolerated one another over their mutual goal: stocking U.S. courts with conservative judges.
Read Politico’s full report here.