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Trump teases McGahn replacement & bashes media in morning tweet frenzy

Trump teases McGahn replacement & bashes media in morning tweet frenzy
President Donald Trump announced that he had picked a successor to White House counsel Don McGahn; and blasted the media for covering his departure inaccurately in a series of irate morning tweets.

“I am very excited about the person who will be taking the place of Don McGahn as White House Counsel!” Trump tweeted on Thursday. “I liked Don, but he was NOT responsible for me not firing Bob Mueller or Jeff Sessions. So much Fake Reporting and Fake News!”

“The Rigged Russia Witch Hunt did not come into play, even a little bit, with respect to my decision on Don McGahn!,” he reiterated.

Trump announced McGahn’s departure on Wednesday, which came shortly after the revelation that McGahn was questioned for 30 hours by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team, as part of his ongoing ‘Russiagate’ investigation. Trump said that he gave McGahn his full blessing to cooperate with the investigation, in the interest of transparency.

Earlier this year, the New York Times reported that Trump had attempted to fire Mueller last July, but backed off when McGahn threatened to quit in protest. The story cited “four people told of the matter,” and Trump labeled it “fake news” at the time, but it was picked up by several other media outlets, including the Washington Post and CNN.

Trump slammed the New York Times again on Thursday for reporting that his daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner pestered him to fire McGahn. The newspaper once more relied on murky sources to make this claim, quoting an anonymous “person briefed on the discussion.”

“Ivanka Trump & Jared Kushner had NOTHING to do with the so called ‘pushing out’ of Don McGahn.The Fake News Media has it, purposely, so wrong!,” Trump tweeted. “They love to portray chaos in the White House when they know that chaos doesn’t exist-just a ‘smooth running machine’ with changing parts!”

“A smooth running machine with changing parts” might just be the most creative euphemism yet for a White House that has seen 35 senior officials fired, resign, or otherwise leave their posts since January 2017.

‘Chaos’ is a theme that has dominated much of the US media’s coverage of the Trump Administration, and Trump has repeatedly criticized the media for playing up reports of turmoil and division within the White House. His Thursday tweets were part of a wider broadside against the media, which he - often correctly - labels as biased against him.

“I just cannot state strongly enough how totally dishonest much of the Media is,” the president tweeted. “Truth doesn’t matter to them, they only have their hatred & agenda. This includes fake books, which come out about me all the time, always anonymous sources, and are pure fiction. Enemy of the People!”

Books about the inner workings of the Trump administration have become a moneymaker for insiders claiming to have dirt on the president. At present, four of the top five books on the New York Times bestsellers list are about Trump, with two of those offering scathing portrayals of the US leader.

‘Unhinged,’ by former aide Omarosa Manigault, has occupied the top position for two weeks. Billed as a tell-all “insider’s account of the Trump white house,” it was described even by the liberal-leaning Independent newspaper as “exaggerated, dramatic, sometimes given to outright lies.” The Independent also described it as a publicity move by Omarosa, doubling as “a very long CV and pitch for the TV appearances and media coverage that will follow.”

Trump’s least favorite TV network also found itself in the president’s crosshairs on Thursday. After savaging CNN and famed Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein on Wednesday for publishing and standing by a false story on the now-infamous Trump Tower meeting, Trump accused the network of “hatred and extreme bias,” and told network boss Jeff Zucker that “his ratings suck.”

After chastising the media for several hours, Trump has not yet named McGahn’s successor. Veteran lawyer Emmet Flood, who advised Bill Clinton during his impeachment proceedings two decades ago, is reportedly being given serious consideration.

Flood would be “an excellent choice,” Trump’s attorney and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani told Time magazine on Wednesday, adding that Trump “does have an excellent relationship with Emmet Flood...from the beginning they sort of hit it off.”

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