President Trump sought the firing of Robert S. Mueller III last June, shortly after the special counsel took over the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, and he backed off only after White House Counsel Donald F. McGahn threatened to resign over the move.
The extraordinary showdown was confirmed by two people familiar with the episode.
McGahn did not deliver his resignation threat directly to Trump but was serious about his threat to leave, according to a person familiar with the episode.
Trump denied the report Friday when asked about it during the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
“Fake news, folks. Fake news,” Trump told reporters.
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