Reince Priebus, the former White House chief of staff, said Sunday he “never” heard President Trump say he wanted special counsel Robert Mueller fired to end the Russia investigation.
“I never felt, of all the things that we went through in the West Wing, I never felt that the president was going to fire the special counsel,” Priebus said in an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “I never heard that.”
Priebus, who was forced out as chief of staff last July, said Trump had expressed concern about potential conflicts of interest in Mueller’s probe, but never said he wanted him fired.
“I think it was clear by the president's own words that he was concerned about the conflicts of interest that he felt that the special counsel had,” Priebus said. “And he made that very clear. Perhaps someone interpreted that to mean something else.”
The New York Times reported last month that Trump ordered Mueller’s firing but ultimately backed down after White House Counsel Don McGahn threatened to resign.