President Donald Trump reportedly lashed out at his White House counsel for not doing more to stop the investigation into Russian election interference.
According to Politico, four sources said Trump gave attorney Don McGahn, one of his earliest supporters in Washington, D.C., "a dressing down in the Oval Office for not doing more to squash the Russia probe early on," although McGahn is no longer directly involved with the case.
These sources added that the event occurred during a meeting about special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, and Trump's frustration with claims that he attempted to obstruct justice in firing former FBI Director James Comey.
The president's personal attorney, Marc Kasowitz, is in charge of his response to the Russia probe. McGahn, as White House counsel, handles vetting potential appointees, choosing judges to fill lower court vacancies, and providing legal advice on legislation and policy discussions.
"This is one of the misconceptions about the White House counsel's office. Don represents the institution. What is going on with Russia and Mueller are matters involving Trump in his personal capacity," said an unnamed "informal but frequent" White House adviser, according to Politico.
"I am not sure the president completely understands how these roles are segregated."
McGahn previously fell out of Trump's favor after the president's first travel ban was struck down by the courts. One unnamed Trump adviser said the president subsequently complained about McGahn's work in private, saying he couldn't believe the ban was overturned.
Two other sources said Trump's anger with McGahn shows his concern about whether he was being properly advised about the Russia investigation before it was given to Kasowitz.
"I think Don has done a reasonable job as anyone could to keep things in perspective and to try to articulate to the president, 'I can't do the thing you're suggesting. You have to let the process unfold,'" the informal, but frequent White House adviser added about McGahn's involvement in the investigation.
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