President Donald J. Trump accused The New York Times of reporting fake news on Twitter after they published a report stating he was not satisfied with the way his legal team was handling the special investigation led by Robert Mueller.
The story, written by Michael S. Schmidt and Maggie Haberman, said that the president had been talking with Emmet T. Flood, one of the lawyers who worked on former President Bill Clinton’s investigation that led to his impeachment in 1998. Additionally, the report said that “several unnamed sources” claimed the president has lost his confidence in his own lawyer Ty Cobb.
Trump tweeted, in response to the report:
The Failing New York Times purposely wrote a false story stating that I am unhappy with my legal team on the Russia case and am going to add another lawyer to help out. Wrong. I am VERY happy with my lawyers, John Dowd, Ty Cobb and Jay Sekulow. There are doing a great job and… have shown conclusively that there was no Collusion with Russia… just excuse for losing.
The Times stated that Cobb recently clashed with Don McGahn, another top lawyer on Trump’s legal team. This is allegedly why the president is looking to change members on his legal staff.
Frequently, McGahn has had a moderating influence on the president. He reportedly convinced him not to fire Mueller last year. However, he disagrees with Cobb over how much Trump should cooperate with the Mueller investigation.
Trump sent out another tweet:
The only Collusion was that done by the DNC, the Democrats and Crooked Hillary. The writer of the story, Maggie Haberman, a Hillary flunky, knows nothing about me and is not given access.
Haberman used the opportunity to reinforce the legitimacy of the story and analyze Trump’s response. She tweeted:
Several people close to Trump confirmed our story. Trump also met with Emmet Flood in the Oval last week for purpose of potentially hiring him. Our story was confirmed by other outlets. She said, Trump’s tweets raises [the] possibility Flood has turned him down.
Haberman has conducted multiple interviews with the president, including a long discussion last year in the Oval Office.
The official news article from The New York Times stated that Flood was in the Oval Office to talk about a role for him in the White House to join the legal team, not replace a member.
Four people confirmed Flood’s presence in the Oval Office. Two people told The Times that a final decision has not been made. However, according to The Times, Cobb told people he does not expect to remain in his current position much longer.
Two people reported that if Flood were to join the team, he would be helping the president navigate his daily dealings with the Justice Department. He was given the opportunity to join the Trump team over the summer but declined. It is not clear what changed.
By Jeanette Smith
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