NYT report: Trump counsel Don McGahn 'cooperated extensively' in Mueller probe

Lanny Davis Michael Cohen

FILE PHOTO: White House Counsel Don McGahn sits behind U.S. President Donald Trump as the president holds a cabinet meeting at the White House in Washington, U.S. June 21, 2018.

People close to McGahn also said he grew concerned Trump had chose to allow him to cooperate in the investigation to construct a defense that he was following McGahn's poor legal advice on decisions such as the Comey firing, which could be viewed as obstruction of Justice, according to the report.

Trump used his tweets Sunday morning, which he wrote from his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, to intensify his assault on the special counsel investigation.

In a Twitter message Saturday evening, the president said he allowed White House attorney Don McGahn and others on the White House staff to "fully cooperate" with Mueller in a bid to show there was "no collusion" and "no obstruction".

Mr. Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani told CBS News' Major Garrett earlier this month that he's "more optimistic" that a potential interview between the president and Mueller might occur, putting the odds of that taking place at "50-50".

Giuliani said that discussions over a presidential interview continue with Mueller's office and that he would not be rushed into having Trump testify "so that he gets trapped in perjury".

"People always view cooperation as giving up incriminating information but you can cooperate, tell the truth and not give up incriminating information because there's none to give up", Giuliani said.

President Trump reacted angrily Sunday to a new report that the White House counsel has cooperated extensively in the Russian Federation investigation without his full knowledge, calling it a "Fake Story" and comparing the probe to McCarthyism.

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He has voluntarily given about 30 hours of interviews to the Mueller team spread across at least three sessions since December, offering information including Trump's directions for how McGahn should respond to Mueller's moves.

The president reiterated that message on Sunday.

The White House counsel also told Mueller's team about Trump's attempts to fire the Special Counsel.

Trump also attacked the Mueller investigation itself, saying that "Mueller and his gang. make Joseph McCarthy look like a baby!"

Trump also claimed, without evidence, that several members of the media had called him to "complain and apologize" and compared Mueller's investigation to Sen. "I don't think it is a reach to have that in your consciousness".

While the claims seemed quite stunning at the time, many people still believed McCarthy. "Witch Hunt!" Trump wrote on Twitter after the release of the report. Mr Trump tweeted, referencing the indiscriminate and damaging allegations made by senator Joseph McCarthy in the 1950s to expose communists.

Trump recently stripped former Central Intelligence Agency director John Brennan of his security clearance, in a move widely criticized as an abuse of power.

Mr Dean tweeted on Saturday night in response to the Times story: "Trump, a total incompetent, is bungling and botching his handling of Russiagate".

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