Quite a Leak: Trump Wanted to Fire Mueller Last June

On the one hand, the disclosure — reported by both the New York Times and the Washington Post — that Donald Trump wanted to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller last June is hardly surprising. Of course he wanted to fire Mueller. We all knew that.

On the other hand, it's a pretty big leak. And, given that White House Counsel Don McGahn comes out looking like a person with ethics in this story — he threatened to quit if Trump went through with it — it's a good bet that McGahn himself was the leaker.

If that's the case, the reason for the leak is almost certainly because McGahn is trying to find a piece of detritus to keep him afloat among the other rats jumping ship. Or maybe:

I also want to echo what the WaPo's Mark Berman noted: "Now that it emerged today that Trump sought to have Mueller fired, this paragraph from [Josh Dawsey, David Nakamura, and Devlin Barrett] becomes much more interesting: 'People who have appeared before Mueller's team say prosecutors have detailed accounts of events, sometimes to the minute, and have surprised witnesses by showing them emails or documents they were unaware that the team had or that their colleagues had written. One person said Mueller's team has asked about Trump's private comments around key events and how he explained decisions.'"

It's likely the person who leaked the story about Trump wanting to fire Mueller in June, who is also providing such "detailed accounts of events" to Mueller's team.

That said, I'll also note that there's still no mention of Vice-President Mike Pence anywhere. Which could be because, as I've previously speculated, he's angling for the presidency by turning on Trump and is thus the one providing these up-to-the-minute accounts to Mueller.

Or he's convinced Mueller's team that he really doesn't know anything, golly gosh, and he's going to skate like the slippery eel he is.

I continue to find it both curious and consternating that I'm not hearing anything about Pence, in leaks from Mueller's team and in leaks from the White House.

In any case, this was an interesting leak. Not because it tells us anything about Trump we didn't already know, but because it tells us something about the people around him. Who look increasingly unwilling to protect him.

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