Trump: My attorney is no 'RAT' like Nixon's


Associated Press

WASHINGTON

President Donald J. Trump insisted today that his White House counsel isn’t a “RAT” like the Watergate-era White House attorney who turned on Richard Nixon, and he blasted the ongoing Russia investigation as “McCarthyism.”

Trump, in a series of angry tweets, denounced a New York Times story that his White House counsel, Don McGahn, has been cooperating extensively with the special counsel team investigating Russian election meddling and potential collusion with Trump’s Republican campaign.

“The failing (at)nytimes wrote a Fake piece today implying that because White House Councel Don McGahn was giving hours of testimony to the Special Councel, he must be a John Dean type ‘RAT,”’ Trump wrote, misspelling the word “counsel,” as he often does. “But I allowed him and all others to testify - I didn’t have to. I have nothing to hide......”

The New York Times said it stands by its story.

Dean, a frequent critic of the president, was the White House counsel for Nixon during the Watergate scandal. He ultimately cooperated with prosecutors and helped bring down the Nixon presidency in 1974, though he served a prison term for obstruction of justice.

Dean tweeted Saturday night in response to the Times story: “Trump, a total incompetent, is bungling and botching his handling of Russiagate. Fate is never kind to bunglers and/or botchers! Unlike Nixon, however, Trump won’t leave willingly or graciously.”

He added Sunday in response to Trump’s tweets that he doubts the president has “ANY IDEA what McGahn has told Mueller. Also, Nixon knew I was meeting with prosecutors, b/c I told him. However, he didn’t think I would tell them the truth!”

Trump’s original legal team had encouraged McGahn and other White House officials to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller, and McGahn spent hours in interviews.

Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, said in an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that Trump didn’t raise executive privilege or attorney-client privilege during those interviews because his team believed — he says now, wrongly — that fully participating would be the fastest way to bring the investigation to a close.

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