President Donald Trump on Wednesday confirmed reports that White House Counsel Don McGahn plans to leave the administration this coming fall.
Trump’s personnel update came just hours after Axios first reported that McGahn was eyeing the White House exits following the midterm elections and Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation.
According to the Washington Post, Trump’s public announcement caught McGahn entirely by surprise, although a person close to him said that after nearly two years working in this administration, he wasn’t angry, and instead felt that “of course it happened this way.”
At least one Republican senator isn’t thrilled with the news, although his public statement may or may not have been meant for the DMs:
Earlier this month, news of McGahn’s full cooperation with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election prompted a bout of hand-wringing from the White House, with Trump repeatedly insisting that everything was completely under control, despite reports that the administration had been blindsided by the extent of McGahn’s cooperation.
While the White House has not named an eventual successor for McGahn’s role as chief counsel, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders hinted that President Trump’s personal attorney, Emmet Flood, was potentially in the running. According to Axios, McGahn himself has also pushed for Flood to replace him in the fall.
“People like him,” Sanders told reporters. “He’s super well-respected around the building. But there’s not a plan locked in place at this point.” Is there ever?