Aug 31, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump mulled "settling" with Mueller amid Russia investigation

Michael Schmidt book cover.

Cover: Random House

One of the crazy nuggets in a deeply reported book by the N.Y. Times' Michael Schmidt — "Donald Trump v. the United States," out tomorrow — is that President Trump mulled the idea of "settling" with special counsel Robert Mueller.

What he's saying: "At one point, as the investigation seemed to be intensifying," Schmidt writes, Trump told White House counsel Don McGahn "that there was nothing to worry about because if it was zeroing in on him, he would simply settle with Mueller. He would settle the case, as if he were negotiating terms in a lawsuit."

  • Some of documents were obtained by the special counsel's office. Others came from the FBI, the offices of the White House chief of staff and counsel, and the president's personal legal team. 
  • Schmidt spent hundreds of hours with current and former senior government officials, and others intimately involved in the story.

Schmidt's thought bubble: "Mueller apparently knew a great deal about what had gone on inside the White House as Trump had tried to control, frustrate, and end the Russia investigation. I thought — but was not entirely sure — that one of the main reasons Mueller knew so much was McGahn."

Go deeper:

Go deeper