According to the newly released report by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, when President Donald Trump first heard about Mueller's appointment, the president said he believed it was "the end of my presidency," adding "I'm f***ed." He then blamed former Attorney General Jeff Sessions for allowing that to happen.
What does the report say?
The report says, on Page 78 of Volume 2:
According to notes written by [Sessions's Chief of Staff Jody] Hunt, when Sessions told the President that a Special Counsel had been appointed, the President slumped back in his chair and said, "Oh my God. This is terrible. This is the end of my presidency. I'm f***ed." The president became angry and lambasted the Attorney General for his decision to recuse himself from the investigation, saying, "How could you let this happen, Jeff?" The President said the position of Attorney General was his most important appointment and that Sessions had "let [him] down," contrasting him to Eric Holder and Robert Kennedy. Sessions recalled that the President said to him "you were supposed to protect me," or words to that effect. The President returned to the consequences of the appointment and said "Everyone tells me if you get one of these independent counsels it ruins your presidency. It takes years and years and I won't be able to do anything. This is the worst thing that ever happened to me.
After this interaction, Trump reportedly told Sessions to resign. Sessions agreed, but Trump ultimately changed his mind and refused to accept his resignation.
White House Counsel Don McGahn had warned Trump that "knocking out Mueller" would only end up being "[a]nother fact used to claim obst[ruction] of just[ice]," the report stated.
Despite McGahn's warnings, a month after this incident, Trump asked McGahn to tell Acting Attorney General Rod Rosenstein "that the Special Counsel had conflicts of interest and must be removed." McGahn refused to comply "deciding that he would resign rather than trigger what he regarded as a potential Saturday Night Massacre."
Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski was also reportedly asked to carry out a similar order, according to Mueller. However, "Lewandowski did not want to deliver the President's message personally, so he asked senior White House official Rick Dearborn to deliver it to Sessions. Dearborn was uncomfortable with the task and did not follow through."