On at least two occasions, Donald Trump asked witnesses in the Russian Federation investigation what they said to special counsel Robert Mueller, the New York Times reports. The Post reports that Mueller has "gathered evidence that a secret meeting in Seychelles just before the inauguration of Donald Trump was an effort to establish a back channel between the incoming administration and the Kremlin - apparently contradicting statements made to lawmakers by one of its participants, according to people familiar with the matter".
A White House source tells CNN's Jim Acosta that Kelly and other White House staffers have warned Trump regularly to not talk with Mueller witnesses about their testimony, as it could constitute witness tampering.
Those conversations were revealed to Mueller in interviews with witnesses who considered the interactions as troublesome. Legal experts tell the Times the conversations probably don't meet the definition of witness tampering, but the paper notes that Trump appears to be ignoring advice from his lawyers that he should avoid appearing to interfere with Mueller's investigation into Russia's tampering with the 2016 United States presidential election.
Trump's decision to ask witnesses about matters related to Mueller's inquiry adds yet another piece of evidence to the special counsel's growing arsenal in the obstruction case. The President has not been questioned by Mueller; Trump's lawyers are negotiating terms of a possible interview. McGahn did not issue any such statement, and according to The Times, McGahn had to remind Trump that he had, in fact, asked him to order Mueller's dismissal.
The President said he had never ordered McGahn to fire the special counsel.
The White House did not respond to several requests for comment.
On Wednesday, Sanders told reporters that the arbitration was won "in the President's favor". Bernie Nussbaum, who served as Bill Clinton's first general counsel, came under fire for what his critics decried as putting the president's personal legal needs ahead of the office of the presidency as the Clinton White House grappled with the Whitewater scandal.
The second reported interaction was with former chief of staff Reince Priebus.
A source with knowledge of the investigation said the conversation was limited to questions like "how did it go?" and "were you treated fairly?"