report that he ordered the firing of special counsel Robert Mueller last June, but backed down after White House lawyer Don McGahn threatened to resign.
The newspaper reported Thursday that Trump demanded Mueller’s firing just weeks after the special counsel was first appointed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
Trump pushed back against the report, without addressing the specific allegation, as he arrived Friday at the site of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
“Fake news, folks. Fake news. Typical New York Times fake stories,” Trump told reporters.
McGahn said he would not deliver the order to the Justice Department, according to The Times, which cites four people familiar with the request by the president.
Trump argued at the time that Mueller could not be fair because of a dispute over golf club fees that he said Mueller owed at a Trump golf club in Sterling, Virginia. The president also believed Mueller had a conflict of interest because he worked for the same law firm that was representing Trump’s son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner.
The NYPost reports the report comes as Mueller moves ever closer to interviewing Trump himself. The president said Wednesday that he would gladly testify under oath — although a White House official quickly said afterward that Trump did not mean he was volunteering to testify.