White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters Friday she was “not aware” if President Donald Trump had “formally” instructed former White House counsel Don McGahn not to testify to Congress.
In the Thursday-night segment, Trump signaled to McGahn he shouldn’t appear before Congress to discuss special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, in which the former White House lawyer was interviewed extensively. The president told Fox correspondent Catherine Herridge that he can’t “let” McGahn testify.
“I don’t think I can let him and then tell everybody else you can,” Trump said, “because especially him because he was a counsel.”
While Trump may not have had a “formal conversation” with McGahn, as Sanders explained Friday, the president’s remarks on Fox could be interpreted as a message to his former counsel. Trump has previously used Fox News as a messaging apparatus for official White House business.
Congressional Democrats want to speak with McGahn regarding alleged obstruction of justice by the president, as detailed in Mueller’s report. Trump reportedly ordered McGahn to fire the special counsel, but McGahn didn’t follow through.
Trump suggested “Congress shouldn’t be looking anymore” now that the Mueller report has been completed, with a redacted version released to the public last month.
“It’s done,” he said.
Trump then repeated the claim that he’s “given total transparency” in the multiple investigations looking at him and his associates, including Mueller’s probe into coordination between Russia and his 2016 presidential campaign. In reality, Trump refused to testify in the probe, and the report includes an appendix explaining why Trump’s written responses to questions were “inadequate.”