President Donald Trump “has got a real problem” after the latest revelations regarding White House counsel Don McGahn’s interviews with special counsel investigators, according to John Dean, who served in the same role for President Richard Nixon.
CNN has reported McGahn’s lawyers did not give Trump’s lawyers a full debriefing on McGahn’s interviews with special counsel Robert Mueller’s team, according to a person familiar with the matter. The New York Times reported this past weekend that McGahn met with the special counsel for a total of 30 hours over the past nine months.
“I think that’s a lot of testimony, that’s a lot of visiting, and that’s just the bottom of what they know,” Dean said Monday in an interview on CNN’s “The Lead with Jake Tapper.” “It could well have been much more than that. It appears to have been ongoing. So, I think Trump has got a real problem here. And I’m not sure how he’s going to handle it.”
On Sunday, Trump referenced Dean in a Twitter post lashing out at a Times report from the day before, claiming it falsely said McGahn must be “a John Dean type ‘RAT” for giving hours of testimony to the special counsel, and adding that he “allowed him and all others to testify,” referring to McGahn.
Dean is known for his cooperation with prosecutors during the Watergate investigation after serving as White House counsel for Nixon.
CNN also reported on Sunday that, according to a source, during the three interviews with the special counsel team, McGahn did not provide incriminating information about the President.
“I don’t think we ought to prejudge what he did or did not do until we know what that is,” Dean noted.
“It’s incriminating sometimes just to provide a timeline, which he was in a position to do,” Dean said. “It could be incriminating to explain what was happening that didn’t appear to be wrongdoing, but when you put it in the larger picture it completes part of a puzzle that prosecutors couldn’t get elsewhere.”
CNN’s Caroline Kelly and Kara Scannell contributed to this report.