BREAKING NEWS Finally Feeling Like Fall Full Story

Don McGahn out as White House counsel, sources say

White House counsel Don McGahn's final day at the White House was Wednesday, according to a White House offi...

Posted: Oct 18, 2018 12:33 PM
Updated: Oct 18, 2018 12:33 PM

White House counsel Don McGahn's final day at the White House was Wednesday, according to a White House official and a source with knowledge of the matter.

McGahn has been planning to leave the White House, but a source told CNN his departure was expedited after President Donald Trump said Tuesday he had selected Patrick Cipollone as his successor. Cipollone is a seasoned litigator and former Justice Department official who served during President George H.W. Bush's administration.

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A White House official said McGahn had a 20-minute farewell meeting with Trump Wednesday and that it was a "good meeting," with the President ticking off McGahn's accomplishments.

White House chief of staff John Kelly was hoping that McGahn would stay through the end of the year, according to the White House official, but McGahn felt it was time to move on. There was no fanfare to the departure -- McGahn just felt the timing was right -- and he informed the President and then Kelly, according to the official.

"Typically you would have the incumbent stay until the successor was ready to take his place. But in this case McGahn was tired of the President and the President was tired of McGahn," a source told CNN.

McGahn leaves his post after serving as White House counsel through the tumultuous first 18 months of Trump's presidency, steering the White House's handling of the Russia investigation and responding internally to the President's mercurial moods as the investigation ballooned.

McGahn has been the key architect of Trump's efforts to reshape the federal courts, and helped secure that part of the President's conservative legacy. McGahn, along with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, successfully shepherded two Supreme Court nominees onto the bench as well as 84 new federal judges since the President's inauguration.

McGahn, a longtime friend of new Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, orchestrated Kavanaugh's introduction to the President. Both Kavanaugh and McGahn served in President George W. Bush's administration and have deep ties to Washington's legal community.

As Kavanaugh was voted in after allegations of sexual misconduct almost derailed his confirmation, McGahn praised the President and told CNN, "President Trump stayed firm. Others would have cut and run when things got tough."

His departure is another one from the handful of top aides who worked on the Trump campaign before joining the White House. McGahn served as the Trump campaign's top attorney throughout the GOP primary and 2016 presidential election, becoming a trusted adviser to the future President in the process.

But McGahn immediately faced controversy in his earliest days at the White House, beginning with acting Attorney General Sally Yates' warning to McGahn that then-national security adviser Michael Flynn could be blackmailed by Russia and that he had likely lied to Vice President Mike Pence. Flynn was forced to resign after reports revealed Yates' warning to McGahn about Flynn's conduct.

As the Justice Department and congressional investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 election heated up, McGahn found himself increasingly at the center of Trump's and the White House's response to the investigation.

And when Attorney General Jeff Sessions faced pressure to recuse himself, Trump enlisted McGahn to urge Sessions not to take that step. Sessions eventually did recuse himself, giving his deputy, Rod Rosenstein, the ultimate authority to appoint a special counsel.

McGahn threatened to resign in the summer of 2017 after Trump ordered him to fire Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia's election meddling and questions of obstruction of justice.

For McGahn, the President's order to fire Mueller was a bridge too far -- with the White House counsel refusing to follow through on the order, a person familiar with the matter told CNN. The New York Times first reported Trump's move to fire Mueller and McGahn's refusal to carry out the order.

The slew of incidents involving the President and McGahn amid the Russia investigation made the White House counsel an important witness in Mueller's investigation, with McGahn sitting for interviews with Mueller's team in December.

Trump was reportedly caught off guard and unnerved by the disclosure that McGahn had cooperated extensively with Mueller's probe and participated in several interviews spanning 30 hours over the last nine months. Trump did not know the full extent of McGahn's discussions, two people familiar with his thinking said.

Before joining the Trump campaign and the White House, McGahn worked at the powerful DC law firm Jones Day and previously served as a commissioner on the Federal Election Commission.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 497790

Reported Deaths: 9917
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34102530
DeSoto31839398
Hinds31837622
Jackson24314377
Rankin21881388
Lee15427234
Madison14525279
Jones13772241
Forrest13412250
Lauderdale11937314
Lowndes10934185
Lamar10470135
Pearl River9431237
Lafayette8454138
Hancock7697126
Washington7365156
Oktibbeha7111129
Monroe6727174
Warren6642176
Pontotoc6609101
Neshoba6606205
Panola6460131
Marshall6386132
Bolivar6266145
Union596094
Pike5784152
Alcorn5633101
Lincoln5417134
George491879
Scott470998
Tippah465381
Prentiss464181
Leflore4627143
Itawamba4596104
Adams4570119
Tate4546109
Copiah445191
Simpson4421116
Wayne438572
Yazoo438586
Covington427394
Marion4216107
Sunflower4215104
Coahoma4115104
Leake407787
Newton380879
Grenada3692108
Stone358464
Tishomingo356391
Attala330289
Jasper328265
Winston313191
Clay306375
Chickasaw296767
Clarke290694
Calhoun277945
Holmes266987
Smith262550
Yalobusha232647
Tallahatchie225251
Walthall217763
Greene215548
Lawrence211140
Perry204755
Amite203954
Webster201645
Noxubee185340
Montgomery179056
Jefferson Davis170642
Carroll167438
Tunica158639
Benton147438
Kemper141241
Choctaw133026
Claiborne131237
Humphreys129038
Franklin119128
Quitman106227
Wilkinson104539
Jefferson94234
Sharkey64020
Issaquena1937
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 813481

Reported Deaths: 15179
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1139971910
Mobile722271323
Madison51970686
Shelby37279341
Baldwin37069540
Tuscaloosa34934599
Montgomery33953725
Lee23142240
Calhoun22142470
Morgan20639372
Etowah19758496
Marshall18245300
Houston17302405
St. Clair15912337
Cullman15306290
Limestone15202198
Elmore15075284
Lauderdale14143294
Talladega13715272
DeKalb12569259
Walker11085366
Blount10094174
Autauga9893146
Jackson9789180
Coffee9182189
Dale8859181
Colbert8789200
Tallapoosa7044195
Escambia6732127
Covington6682179
Chilton6587160
Russell625958
Franklin5930105
Chambers5559142
Marion4955126
Dallas4882199
Clarke472782
Pike4719105
Geneva4564126
Winston4473101
Lawrence4264117
Bibb421686
Barbour355475
Marengo334089
Monroe330262
Randolph327063
Butler324794
Pickens313882
Henry310965
Hale309187
Cherokee299957
Fayette290679
Washington250951
Cleburne246958
Crenshaw243575
Clay240367
Macon230562
Lamar215846
Conecuh185652
Coosa178538
Lowndes173761
Wilcox167438
Bullock151744
Perry138040
Sumter131038
Greene125544
Choctaw86927
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Clear
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Hi: 72° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 41°
Columbus
Clear
44° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 44°
Oxford
Clear
39° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 39°
Starkville
Clear
43° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 43°
A cold front passing through our area overnight will bring into our area some of the coolest temperatures of the season so far. We will see most of the highs this weekend only in the upper 60s to lower 70s. While overnight lows will drop off down into the 40s Saturday night.
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