The White House requested that former White House counsel Don McGahn publicly state that President Donald Trump didn't obstruct justice, but McGahn declined, an administration official told CNN.

The timing of the White House's request -- which was made through top White House lawyer Emmet Flood, according to the official -- is unclear.

The official and a separate source familiar with the matter said that McGahn previously told special counsel Robert Mueller's investigators he didn't believe Trump obstructed justice.

The Wall Street Journal first reported the White House's appeal to McGahn.

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