White House counsel Donald F. McGahn II was "alarmed" that President Donald Trump decided to fire FBI Director James Comey after only consulting daughter Ivanka Trump, son-in-law Jared Kushner and controversial political advisor Stephen Miller, The New York Times reported.
Reporters Michael S. Schmidt and Maggie Haberman detail a "pivotal" weekend in May, when rain prevented Trump from golfing at his private golf club in Bedminster, NJ.
"Instead Mr. Trump stewed indoors, worrying about Mr. Comey and the Russia investigation," The Times noted.
With the President were Ivanka, Jared and Stephen Miller.
"Mr. Miller and Mr. Kushner both told the president that weekend they were in favor of firing Mr. Comey," The Times reports.
Trump returned to Washington that Monday for a White House meeting that included Vice President Mike Pence, where Trump announced he had decided to fire Mr. Comey.
"Some present at the meeting, including Mr. McGahn, were alarmed that the president had decided to fire the F.B.I. director after consulting only Ms. Trump, Mr. Kushner and Mr. Miller," The Times reported.
"Mr. McGahn met again that same day with Mr. Trump and told him that if he fired Mr. Comey, the Russia investigation would not go away," The Times reported. "Mr. Trump told him, according to senior administration officials, that he understood that firing the F.B.I. director might extend the Russia investigation, but he wanted to do it anyway."
The bombshell report is based on "interviews with a dozen administration officials and others briefed on the matter."
During that rainy weekend in May, President Trump and Stephen Miller drafted a letter explaining why Comey should be fired, which is now in the procession of special counsel Bob Mueller.
‘What everyone was afraid of’: Ousted aides Priebus and Bannon warned Trump not to fire Comey to avoid ‘firestorm’ https://t.co/eNLBl6gYF8— Raw Story (@Raw Story)1504307705.0
"Mr. McGahn successfully blocked the president from sending the letter to Mr. Comey, which Mr. Trump had composed with Stephen Miller, one of the president’s top political advisers," The Times explained. "But a copy was given to the deputy attorney general, Rod J. Rosenstein, who then drafted his own letter."
“Mueller is likely to look into whether Trump, in consulting the Justice Department’s top two officials, was seeking a pretense to remove the FBI director or, as some White House advisers said Friday, he was simply persuaded by his staff that their opinions should play a role in the process,” the Washington Post reported.
President Trump has spent 28 of his 224 days in office at Trump National Bedminster.
Instead of huddling with Stephen Miller, were it not for the rain Trump would have been golfing with Greg Norman.
Watch the Australian golfer discuss the serious injury that President Bill Clinton received with Norman during a 1997 golf trip: