President Donald Trump is lashing out at The New York Times for Sunday's story reporting that White House lawyer Don McGahn has cooperated extensively with the special investigation into Russian election interference.
According to the Times, McGahn shared detailed accounts on the question of whether Trump tried to obstruct justice, giving investigators information they may never have gotten otherwise.
"The Failing New York Times wrote a story that made it seem like the White House Councel (sic) had TURNED on the President, when in fact it is just the opposite - & the two Fake reporters knew this," Trump tweeted. "This is why the Fake News Media has become the Enemy of the People. So bad for America!"
The Failing New York Times wrote a story that made it seem like the White House Councel had TURNED on the President, when in fact it is just the opposite - & the two Fake reporters knew this. This is why the Fake News Media has become the Enemy of the People. So bad for America!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 19, 2018
Trump was also angry that the Times drew a parallel between McGahn and John Dean -- the White House counsel for President Richard Nixon whose testimony of what Nixon knew about Watergate helped lead to his resignation in 1974.
"... because White House Councel (sic) Don McGahn was giving hours of testimony to the Special Councel (sic), he must be a John Dean type 'RAT.' But I allowed him and all others to testify - I didn't have to. I have nothing to hide... ," the president tweeted.
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.” But I allowed him and all others to testify - I didn’t have to. I have nothing to hide......— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 19, 2018
Trump's first legal team encouraged full cooperation with special counsel Robert Mueller, believing it would help bring a speedy end to the probe of possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign.
But according to the Times, McGahn and his own lawyer feared Trump was setting him up to take the blame if there was any obstruction of justice. They decided on their own to cooperate with Mueller as much as possible, the newspaper reported.
On NBC's Meet the Press on Sunday, Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, accused the special counsel's office of illegally leaking the story to the Times. But Giuliani still sounded confident.
"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," he said.
But Giuliani said he will not let Mueller rush the president into testifying because he fears Trump could get trapped into perjury.
"When you tell me that he should testify because he's going to tell the truth and he shouldn't worry, that's so silly because it's somebody's version of the truth," Giuliani said.
When Meet the Press host Chuck Todd reminded him that "truth is truth," Giuliani shot back, "truth isn't truth," briefly taking Todd aback.
Todd told Giuliani that he may have just created a "bad meme (funny image or video shared on social media)."