In August, White House counsel, Donald McGahn logged onto Twitter and was surprised to learn that he would be out of a job later this year. McGahn fell victim to one of Donald Trump’s unexpected Twitter firings when the President announced he would be “leaving his position in the fall, shortly after the confirmation (hopefully) of Judge Brett Kavanaugh”.
But before McGahn could climb out of the swamp, as Trump alluded to in his firing tweet, there was work to be done on the Supreme Court Nomination. According to the Washington Post, McGahn’s “last stand” as White House counsel would be to get Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination through and secure a conservative majority in the Supreme Court.
Now, with the Kavanaugh nomination under threat, it seems Donald Trump is holding McGahn responsible for the whirlwind of chaos surrounding his Supreme Court pick.
The Washington Post’s sources within the Trump administration described tensions between Trump and McGahn. The President is allegedly furious with McGahn for pushing Kavanaugh’s nomination.
According to the Post, Trump privately admitted that he barely knows the judge, sentiments he echoed at a rally in Mississippi. Trump said, “I don’t even know him. I met him for the first time a few weeks ago. So it’s not like ‘Oh, gee, I want to protect my friend’”.
McGahn has allegedly been working frantically to save the Kavanaugh nomination. He coached the federal judge ahead of his hearings in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and according to one Trump ally, brought “Kavanaugh back to reality” by reminding him of the political challenges he faced.
Despite his efforts, McGahn remains on the receiving end of Trump’s ire. If Kavanaugh wins a seat on the Supreme Court, McGahn may have redeemed himself. But should it fail, the parting words between the President and his counsel could be less than cordial.
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Oliver is a UK-born freelance writer and journalist based in Boston. He is a self-confessed politics junkie with a passion for foreign and environmental policy. His work has been featured on Open Democracy, International Policy Digest, and the London Economic. He was a regular contributor for ASEAN Today.