Trump on the firing of Mueller in June, 'fake news'

McGahn, though, told the president in no uncertain terms that firing Mueller - the head of the probe into possible collusion by Trump associates with Moscow - would be a horrible idea and blow up in his face, the source said.

The "Fox & Friends" hosts quoted the president, cast doubt on the quality of The Times' sources, and suggested that the reporting that Trump pressured his aides to fire Mueller was unimportant. This led Trump to back off, and staved off what could have been a crisis for the presidency.

On Thursday, Ty Cobb, who manages the White House relationship with Mueller's office, declined to comment.

"Typical New York Times", he added. He was present for an April 2016 Trump foreign policy speech at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, where he spoke with the Russian ambassador to the United States. The Times reports that Trump backed down only after the top White House lawyer threatened to quit.

A former Department of Justice appointee under former President Barack Obama said special counsel Robert Mueller "almost certainly won't indict" President Donald Trump at the conclusion of his investigation.

"There is still a fort around Mueller that congressional Republicans or at least congressional Republican leadership are prepared to defend", said Dan Senor, a former advisor to House Speaker Paul Ryan.

When asked about findings in the Senate Intelligence Committee investigation, Warner said he has "reserved final judgment until we see all the witnesses and get all the facts".

Beneath the smokescreens, there hasn't been a strong denial of the story, which suggests that the story is true. To call that encounter "significant and consequential" - as many have - may now be the greatest understatement since, well, Watergate. I think it's pretty clear by what one of his lawyers said on television recently.

Any interview between Trump and Mueller would serve as a likely crescendo in a months-long drama that has dogged that Trump White House. Earlier, he has fired the national security adviser Michael Flynn and FBI Director James B. Comey.

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