The Mueller Report:
In the days following the Special Counsel’s appointment, the President repeatedly told advisors, including Priebus, Bannon, and McGahn, that Special Counsel Mueller had conflicts of interest. The President cited as conflicts that Mueller had interviewed for the FBI Director position shortly before being appointed as Special Counsel, that he had worked for a law firm that represented people affiliated with the President, and that Mueller had disputed certain fees relating to his membership in a Trump golf course in Northern Virginia. The President’s advisors pushed back on his assertion of conflicts, telling the President they did not count as true conflicts. Bannon recalled telling the President that the purported conflicts were “ridiculous” and that none of them was real or could come close to justifying precluding Mueller from serving as Special Counsel. As for Mueller’s interview for FBI Director, Bannon recalled that the White House had invited Mueller to speak to the President to offer a perspective on the institution of the FBI. Bannon said that, although the White House thought about beseeching Mueller to become Director again, he did not come in looking for the job. Bannon also told the President that the law firm position did not amount to a conflict in the legal community. And Bannon told the President that the golf course dispute did not rise to the level of a conflict and claiming one was “ridiculous and petty.” The President did not respond when Bannon pushed back on the stated conflicts of interest.
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