Donald Trump on Monday said that “nobody disobeys” his orders, in response to claims made in the Mueller report that his subordinates stifled his attempts to impede the investigation into possible collusion between Russian agents and the Trump campaign.
As The Hill reports, Trump addressed a group of reporters outside the annual White House Easter Egg Roll, and he specifically responded to a claim made in the Mueller report, a redacted version of which was released to the general public last week. Parts of the report that weren’t redacted claim that Trump tried to impede Mueller’s investigation, but that his efforts were unsuccessful because staffers weren’t willing to help.
“The President’s efforts to influence the investigation were mostly unsuccessful, but that is largely because the persons who surrounded the President declined to carry out orders or accede to his requests.”
For example, in 2017 Trump purportedly directed then-White House counsel Don McGahn to remove Mueller, but McGahn refused. In another example, provided by CNN, then-staff secretary Rob Porter was asked by Trump to contact associate Attorney General Rachel Brand to gauge whether or not she was “on the team” and might be interested in overseeing the special counsel’s investigation. Porter declined, saying he was uncomfortable with the notion.
"Keep in touch with your friend."— Ryan Barber (@cryanbarber) April 19, 2019
Trump directed Rob Porter in 2017 to gauge then-Associate AG Rachel Brand's interest in taking over the Russia investigation—and in becoming AG. Porter was "uncomfortable with the task" and never reached out, Mueller said.https://t.co/De28I8qvPz
In another instance, reported by The Washington Post, Chief economic adviser Gary Cohn literally pulled papers off of Trump’s desk in order to prevent him from making an impulsive decision about trade deals. In another, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis purportedly refused both to order the assassination of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad and to provide Trump with a list of military options with regard to Iran.
Beyond the list of instances in which his aides reportedly disobeyed him, the Mueller report paints a picture of the White House as being chaotic, with staffers so constantly in fear of being fired that they literally kept their résumés with them at all times. The president himself, meanwhile, is portrayed as being deceitful, paranoid, and absolutely “consumed” by the investigation.
Meanwhile, when Trump was asked if he was concerned about the Mueller report resulting in his impeachment, Trump responded, “not even a little bit.”
Whether or not the Mueller report will end in Trump’s impeachment remains far from clear. As The Inquisitr reported earlier, talk of impeachment among some Democrats has been increasing since the release of the redacted version of the Mueller report. However, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has been less than committed to the idea, saying that the 2020 election is a bigger priority.