CNN anchor Fredricka Whitfield explored the media commotion over controversial comments by President Donald Trump’s lawyer, John Dowd, about ending special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
“In the past hour, CNN has learned that President Trump’s attorney is calling for an end to the Russia investigation,” Whitfield reported. “This development comes just hours after Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and just 26 hours before McCabe planned to retire with full benefits after serving more than 20 years at the FBI.”
To understand the murky details around the conflicting statements, Whitfield turned to White House correspondent Abby Phillip.
“Abby what exactly is Trump’s lawyer saying and on whose behalf is he saying it?” Whitfield asked.
“There’s been a lot of confusion this morning over John Dowd’s comments about this McCabe situation,” Phillip explained. “He has now issued two statements today, one initially saying that he was speaking on behalf of the president and then clarifying later that he was not speaking on behalf of the president, but he was speaking in his own personal capacity.”
Phillip, speaking live from the White House, explained what she had learned.
“Clearly, we are hearing from sources close to the president that they are not happy with this slip-up on the part of John Dowd” Phillip reported “and there’s a new statement out here trying to clarify this is not a call for Mueller to be fired or for this investigation to be ended abruptly.”
On Twitter, Phillip’s colleague Evan Pérez joked at how Dowd’s comments were viewed as distracting from the White House bragging about firing Andrew McCabe.
The plan today at WH and Trump legal team was: Don’t step on the McCabe story….don’t step on the McCabe story….don’t step…..duh!! dadgummit!! https://t.co/e8K3G2hJtB
— Evan Pérez (@evanperez) March 17, 2018