By Steve Neavling
Former White chief of staff Reince Priebus disputed reports Sunday that Donald Trump tried to fire the special counsel appointed to investigate his administration’s ties to Russia.
“Of all the things that we went through in the West Wing, I never felt that the president was going to fire the special counsel,” Priebus said on NBC’s “Meet The Press”  in his first interview since leaving the White House last summer. “I would know the difference between a level-ten situation as reported in that story and what was reality, and to me that wasn’t reality.”
The New York Times reported  in January that Trump ordered the termination of Robert Mueller but backed off after the White Counsel threatened to quit to avoid following the directive.
Priebus also denied a Washington Post report that cited sources saying he was “incredibly concerned” that Trump would try to fire Mueller, who now is investigating whether the president obstructed justice.
“I think it was very clear by the president’s own words that he was concerned about the conflicts of interest that he felt that the special counsel had. And he made that very clear,” Priebus said. “Perhaps someone interpreted that to mean something else. But I know the difference between fire that person, why isn’t that person gone, to what I read in that New York Times’ piece. So when I read that I’m just telling you I didn’t feel that when I was there.”