Trump worries that Mueller interview could be a 'perjury trap'

President Donald Trump at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster New Jersey

President Donald Trump at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster New Jersey

Trump tweeted the insult in the context of a New York Times report that his own White House counsel, Don McGahn, spent 30 hours talking with special counsel Robert Mueller's team over the course of three interviews. "They can't see the fact that Trump may be open on this entire thing because he did nothing wrong".

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. President Donald 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 Russian Federation investigation as "McCarthyism".

The White House event followed the release of a letter Trump wrote to state and local officials asking them to publicly defend immigration, customs and border agents.

"I have nothing to hide. and have demanded transparency so that this Rigged and Disgusting Witch Hunt can come to a close", Trump tweeted.

The Times report also notes that McGahn was "stunned" that Trump allowed him to speak with Mueller.

"We will not stand for the vile smears, the hateful attacks and the vicious assaults on the courageous men and women of ICE, border patrol and law enforcement", Trump said. The President's lawyers told the Times on Sunday that they believed that McGahn's almost 30 hours of interviews with the special counsel had not included any testimony harmful to the President. (Clinton was impeached but not removed from office; Nixon would have been impeached and removed had he not resigned.) President Trump, by contrast, has not committed any overtly illegal act.

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"Anybody needing that much time when they know there is no Russian Collusion is just someone looking for trouble", Trump asserted. He ultimately cooperated with prosecutors and helped bring down the Nixon presidency in 1974, though he served a prison term for obstruction of justice.

But the strategy "put Don McGahn in an impossible situation, because once you waive that privilege and you turn over all those documents, Don McGahn has no choice then but to go in and answer everything, every question they could ask him", Chris Christie, a former US attorney and a close ally of Trump, said on ABC News' This Week.

He added today in response to Trump's tweets that he doubts the president has "ANY IDEA what McGahn has told Mueller". They believed Trump's lawyers should have claimed attorney-client privilege for McGahn. The paper said McGahn was motivated in part by fear that the president might set him up to be held responsible.

The Times report cited a dozen unnamed current and former White House officials and "others briefed on the matter". Cobb talked about how McGahn was opposed to cooperation and had documents locked in his safe. Concerned that he would be blamed, he chose to try to demonstrate to Mueller that he and other White House lawyers had done nothing wrong.

The sources said Trump was unsettled by the possibility that he didn't know everything that his counsel had said to Mueller's legal team during the interviews. "Not the truth", Giuliani said.

"Truth is truth", the show's host, Chuck Todd, answered.

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