Anthony Scaramucci, the former White House communications director, told CNN's Chris Cuomo that a New York Times story was "totally irrelevant" because President Donald Trump "actually didn't fire" special counsel Robert Mueller.
Scaramucci was responding to reports that the President called for Mueller's firing last June.
The New York Times first reported the story Thursday evening, citing four sources. The President never went through with the order, according to the Times report, because White House counsel Don McGahn threatened to quit instead of carrying it out.
The President's reported call to fire Mueller followed reports the special counsel was looking into charges of obstruction of justice.
"He may have had a conversation about firing the guy and then made the decision not to fire the guy. The guy is still in place, Chris, you can't say that he fired him," Scaramucci said on "Cuomo Prime Time" on Thursday.
Scaramucci also referred to the story as a "red herring" and "nonsensical."
"The President believes there was absolutely no collusion in the Russian investigation, a more interesting story would be him not contemplating the firing," Scaramucci said, noting that the President -- who has maintained that there was no collusion -- questioned the "distraction of a special prosecutor."
"McGahn probably told him 'Hey, look, you can't fire the guy because it would be a disaster for you,' and the President said 'OK, no problem,'" Scaramucci told Cuomo.
Pointing fingers at "interlopers" who leak information within the White House, Scaramucci specifically named former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon.
"I would love to get a look at somebody like Steve Bannon's phone records to see who he's talking to and how this information is out there," he said.
Scaramucci also expressed his suspicion about the timing of the story, noting that he found it "ironic" this information was coming out while the President is at World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, to "great fanfare." However, Scaramucci said -- according to his count at least four times -- that he accepted the Times reporting.
"My gentleman's bet: there's no collusion. The President's not involved in any collusion," he said.
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