When President Trump tweeted on Wednesday morning that counsel Don McGahn would leave the White House this fall, millions of Americans were surprised. Among them was Don McGahn.
The Washington Post reported that the counsel found out about his firing over Twitter and that “He was not aware that Trump planned to send the tweet before it posted, according to a person close to McGahn who was not authorized to speak publicly.”
The source described McGahn as “surprised” and noted that he had not discussed his plans to leave the White House with Trump.
“McGahn, who has told many friends that he has wearily endured countless political and legal battles, saw Trump’s tweet as abrupt but typical of how the president acts,” The Post reported. “His reaction was, ‘Of course it happened this way,’ one person said.”
McGahn’s firing mirrors another public Trump ousting: That of former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
In March, NBC reported that Tillerson was blindsided when the president tweeted that Mike Pompeo would take over the State Department. Although Tillerson had discussed with White House Chief of Staff John Kelly an imminent firing, they did not discuss a specific date; the outgoing state secretary only spoke with the president about his departure several hours after the tweet.
“Mike Pompeo, Director of the CIA, will become our new Secretary of State. He will do a fantastic job! Thank you to Rex Tillerson for his service! Gina Haspel will become the new Director of the CIA, and the first woman so chosen,” wrote Trump. “Congratulations to all!”
The president also fired Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin over Twitter in April.
“General Kelly gave me a heads up that the president would most likely be tweeting out a message in the very near future, and I appreciated having that heads-up from General Kelly,” Shulkin told CNN shortly after the tweet.
“So the tweet fired you?” a network anchor asked.
“Yes,” Shulkin confirmed.