President Donald Trump disputed former White House counsel Don McGahn’s testimony that the president had instructed him to fire special counsel Robert Mueller, telling ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos that McGahn “may have been confused.” Trump, who has refused to testify under oath, said in a contentious back-and-forth that “the story on that very simply, No. 1, I was never going to fire Mueller. I never suggested firing Mueller.” When Stephanopoulos brought up McGahn’s extensive testimony under oath to the contrary, Trump countered, “I don’t care what [McGahn] says. It doesn’t matter.”
Why does Trump think the White House counsel would lie under oath? “Because he wanted to make himself look like a good lawyer,” Trump said. “Or he believed it because I would constantly tell anybody that would listen—including you, including the media—that Robert Mueller was conflicted. Robert Mueller had a total conflict of interest.” “And has to go?” Stephanopoulos asked. “I didn’t say that,” Trump responded.
Trump explained that he didn’t testify before the special counsel because, basically, he lies a lot. “[T]hey were looking to get us for lies or slight misstatements,” Trump said. “I looked at what happened to people, and it was very unfair. Very, very unfair. Very unfair.” Trump said while he didn’t testify, he did provide written answers to Mueller’s questions, which he surely has never actually read. Stephanopoulos pointed out that the written answers didn’t address potential obstruction of justice.
“Wait a minute,” Trump said. “Wait a minute. I did answer questions. I answered them in writing.” “Not on obstruction,” Stephanopoulos interrupted. “George, you’re being a little wise guy, OK—which is, you know, typical for you,” Trump said. “Just so you understand. Very simple. It’s very simple. There was no crime. There was no collusion. The big thing’s collusion. Now, there’s no collusion. That means they set—it was a setup, in my opinion, and I think it’s going to come out.”