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White House counsel McGahn latest West Wing aide to head for the exit

Don McGahn will stick around through the fall to help shepherd Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court confirmation process.
Image: White House counsel Don McGahn before a meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House
McGahn is one of Trump's longest-serving aides.Jim Lo Scalzo / EPA

WASHINGTON — White House counsel Don McGahn, who cooperated with special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe, will be leaving his job in the fall, Trump said Wednesday.

The move was widely expected. But the president's announcement came less than two weeks after The New York Times reported that McGahn had spent 30 hours talking with Mueller's team and "provided the investigators examining whether Mr. Trump obstructed justice a clear view of the president’s most intimate moments with his lawyer."

Trump responded to that story by tweeting that he had allowed McGahn to cooperate.


McGahn, a former member of the Federal Election Commission, is one of Trump's longest-serving aides, having joined Trump's 2016 presidential campaign as counsel. He was not aware that the president would be tweeting about his future but was not upset by it, according to an administration official.

Axios reported Wednesday that Emmet Flood, a veteran Washington lawyer who has been handling Russia probe issues for the White House, would succeed McGahn.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders praised Flood but said "there's not a plan locked in place" right now.

"People like him," Sanders said. "He's super well-respected around the building."

Sen. Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican who is chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and has worked closely with McGahn to confirm a raft of federal judges, said Wednesday that he was disappointed by the announcement.