Mar 8, 2018

Report: Trump asked McGahn, Priebus about meetings with Mueller

Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

President Trump has had conversations with key special counsel witnesses "about matters they discussed with investigators," the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: Per the Times, this demonstrates that Trump has "ignored his lawyers' advice to avoid doing anything publicly or privately" that would look like interference with special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation. But, legal experts tell the Times the conversations "likely did not rise to the level of witness tampering."

  • Trump reportedly told White House counsel Don McGahn to publicly deny reports saying he was told by the president to fire Mueller. Per the NYT, McGahn reminded Trump that he had in fact asked him to get rid of Mueller, but Trump said "he did not remember" their discussion in that manner.
  • In December, Trump asked former chief of staff Reince Priebus about his October meeting with Mueller's office. Per the Times, Priebus told him "the investigators were courteous and professional" but "shared no specifics and did not say what he had told investigators."
  • This isn't illegal, the NYT reports, but "is usually done through lawyers for the people involved."

One more thing: The Times reports that Rob Porter, who recently stepped down as White House Staff Secretary, told McGahn that Trump had "suggested he might 'get rid of'" him if he didn't deny Trump asked him to fire Mueller.

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Situational awareness

Photo: Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Catch up on today's biggest news:

  1. Mike Bloomberg offers to release women from 3 NDAs
  2. Wells Fargo to pay $3 billion to settle consumer abuse charges
  3. Bloomberg campaign says Tennessee vandalism "echoes language" from Bernie supporters
  4. Scoop: New White House personnel chief tells Cabinet liaisons to target Never Trumpers
  5. Nearly half of Republicans support pardoning Roger Stone

Wells Fargo agrees to pay $3 billion to settle consumer abuse charges

Clients use an ATM at a Wells Fargo Bank in Los Angeles, Calif. Photo: Ronen Tivony/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Wells Fargo agreed to a pay a combined $3 billion to the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday for opening millions of fake customer accounts between 2002 and 2016, the SEC said in a press release.

The big picture: The fine "is among the largest corporate penalties reached during the Trump administration," the Washington Post reports.

Bloomberg offers to release women from 3 nondisclosure agreements

Mike Bloomberg. Photo: Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Mike Bloomberg said Friday his company will release women identified to have signed three nondisclosure agreements so they can publicly discuss their allegations against him if they wish.

Why it matters, via Axios' Margaret Talev: Bloomberg’s shift in policy toward NDAs comes as he tries to stanch his loss of female support after the Las Vegas debate. It is an effort to separate the total number of harassment and culture complaints at the large company from those directed at him personally. That could reframe the criticism against him, but also protect the company from legal fallout if all past NDAs were placed in jeopardy.