While former Donald Trump aide Sam Nunberg’s allegedly drunken rants about rebuffing the special prosecution’s investigation may have been the spotlight briefly on Robert Mueller once again, the president himself has had no trouble doing the same. In fact, according to a New York Times report late Wednesday, Trump has apparently gone out of his way to try to discuss the case with his White House counsel and former chief of staff Reince Priebus, both of whom are witnesses in Mueller’s Russia probe. Later on Thursday, CNN reported that Priebus’s replacement, John Kelly, had admonished the president for doing so.
According to a White House official, Kelly has been warning Trump to “be careful” whenever he speaks with anyone who is a witness in the special counsel’s ongoing investigation. In fact, the official notes, “It’s pretty clear that Kelly admonishes him constantly and he’s not the only one.” Even so, the anonymous source made it clear to CNN that “[t]here’s nothing wrong with talking someone and saying, ‘Did they treat you well?'” What’s more, they described the president’s alleged discussion of the investigation with Priebus as “appropriate” but didn’t say anything of note about the White House counsel.
Per the Times, the president allegedly asked his White House counsel, Don McGahn to “issue a statement” denying a previous article by the paper claiming that Trump had asked him to fire Mueller. As for his conversation with Priebus, it was far more cordial in nature: “Mr. Trump asked his former chief of staff, Reince Priebus, how his interview had gone with the special counsel’s investigators and whether they had been ‘nice,’ according to two people familiar with the discussion.” Yet CNN adds that Trump’s “conversations about the investigation are making top aides inside the White House uncomfortable.”