White House counsel Don McGahn had planned to leave the White House sometime after the midterm elections, but President Donald Trump took it upon himself to speed up the timeline. In a Wednesday morning tweet, the president shoved McGhan out.
“White House Counsel Don McGahn will be leaving his position in the fall, shortly after the confirmation (hopefully) of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court. I have worked with Don for a long time and truly appreciate his service!” Trump tweeted.
White House Counsel Don McGahn will be leaving his position in the fall, shortly after the confirmation (hopefully) of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court. I have worked with Don for a long time and truly appreciate his service!# p #3_19 # ad skipped = true #
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 29, 2018# p #4_19 # ad skipped = true #
However, Washington Post reporter Robert Costa explained on an MSNBC political panel that McGahn had no idea this move was coming from Trump. He explained that Capitol Hill is starting to get nervous about this recent decision.
“They see McGahn as a link to traditional Republicanism,” Costa said. “He’s a conventional figure inside of an unconventional White House. He’s helped them stay steady as a party on one core area, on the judicial nominations even as there is disarray and disagreement on the rest of the Trump agenda… And now they’re worried about how does that continue without McGahn.”
He explained that the president decided to make the move on his own without talking to McGahn first.
“But this is how the president often behaves and McGahn’s associates have been telling friends it’s been death by Twitter or announcement by Twitter, personnel-wise, for many people inside of this White House.”
Over the past several months McGhan has grown tired of the president’s constant demand to persuade Attorney General Jeff Sessions to un-recuse himself from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
According to the Washington Post DC bureau chief Philip Rucker, Trump doesn’t like for people to leave on their own.
“He likes to show people to the door,” Rucker said.
McGahn has also spent a lot of time with Mueller likely giving detailed accounts of conversations Trump would probably prefer staying between them.
Former FBI assistant director for counterintelligence Frank Figliuzzi said that we’re coming dangerously close to an un-checked presidency.
“No one left to even try to balance his actions out,” he said. “And if that happens, the domino effect may start.”
He noted without McGahn there might be no one to protect Sessions left and other Republicans are giving their blessing for it.
“And the danger signal to me is we’re hearing people say, ‘Well, as long as he picks an attorney general who lets Mueller finish,'” Figliuzzi continued. “Letting Mueller finish is only half the equation. How you properly deal with Mueller’s report, Mueller’s potential request to subpoena the president for an interview, Mueller’s potential request to indict a sitting president. If a new attorney general is there and he’s a lackey for this president, look out.”
Watch the full panel below: