Trump Says His White House Counsel Not a 'RAT' Like Nixon's - NBC10 Boston
President Donald Trump

President Donald Trump

The latest news on President Donald Trump's presidency

Trump Says His White House Counsel Not a 'RAT' Like Nixon's

Trump on Sunday continued to rail against the Mueller investigation, which he has labeled a "witch hunt"

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Trump Says His White House Counsel Not a 'RAT' Like Nixon's
    Andrew Harnik/AP
    President Donald Trump speaks to members of the media before boarding Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Friday, Aug. 17, 2018, for a short trip to Andrews Air Force Base, Md., and then on to Southampton, N.Y., for a fundraiser.

    President Donald Trump insisted Sunday 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 @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.

    Shutdown Relief: Easing the Burden

    [NATL] Shutdown Relief: Easing the Burden

    As the government shutdown drags on, companies, restaurants and service providers across the country are coming up with ways to help the estimated 800,000 Americans not getting paid. NBC's Dan Scheneman reports.

    (Published Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019)

    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.

    "The president encouraged him to testify, is happy that he did, is quite secure that there is nothing in the testimony that will hurt the president," Giuliani said.

    US Troops on Patrol Killed in Blast in Syria

    [NATL] US Troops on Patrol Killed in Blast in Syria

    American troops were killed Wednesday during a patrol in the Northern Syrian town of Manbij, according to the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS. It wasn’t immediately clear how many. The attack comes after the U.S. began the process of withdrawing from Syria.

    (Published Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019)

    McGahn's attorney William Burck added in a statement: "President Trump, through counsel, declined to assert any privilege over Mr. McGahn's testimony, so Mr. McGahn answered the Special Counsel team's questions fulsomely and honestly, as any person interviewed by federal investigators must."

    Trump on Sunday continued to rail against the Mueller investigation, which he has labeled a "witch hunt."

    "So many lives have been ruined over nothing - McCarthyism at its WORST!" Trump tweeted, referencing the indiscriminate and damaging allegations made by Sen. Joseph McCarthy in the 1950s to expose communists.

    "Study the late Joseph McCarthy, because we are now in period with Mueller and his gang that make Joseph McCarthy look like a baby! Rigged Witch Hunt!" he later wrote.

    Giuliani, in his interview, also acknowledged that the reason for the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting between Trump campaign aides and a Russian lawyer, arranged by Trump's son Donald Trump Jr., was that they had been promised dirt on Trump's 2016 Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.

    "The meeting was originally for the purpose of getting information about Clinton," he said, adding that the Trump team didn't know that Natalia Veselnitskaya was Russian — even though emails later released by Trump Jr. show that she had been described as a "Russian government attorney."

    Steve King Faces Congressional Backlash Over Racist Remark

    [NATL] Rep. Steve King Faces Backlash From Congress Over Racist Remarks

    In a rare moment of bipartisan agreement, members of the U.S. House condemned Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) for his comments on white nationalism and white supremacy. Even leaders of King's own party are pressuring him to resign.

    (Published Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019)

    Giuliani also tried to make the case that having Trump sit down for an interview with Mueller's team wouldn't accomplish much because of the he-said-she-said nature of witnesses' recollections.

    "It's somebody's version of the truth, not the truth," he said, telling NBC's Chuck Todd: "Truth isn't truth."

    Todd appeared flummoxed by the comment, responding: "This is going to become a bad meme."