President Donald Trump is claiming his White House lawyer, Don McGahn, was representing his interests and following his orders when he voluntarily testified before the special counsel in multiple sessions.
Citing a dozen current and former White House officials and others briefed on the matter, the paper said White House Counsel Donald McGahn had shared information, some of which the investigators would not have known about. He's the White House attorney, as opposed to President Trump's personal attorney.
"I allowed White House Counsel Don McGahn, and all other requested members of the White House Staff, to fully cooperate with the Special Counsel".
Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani says McGahn "was sanctioned" to do the interviews with Mueller's team.
The Times, however, said McGahn was in part motivated by fear of becoming a scapegoat if wrongdoing was discovered.
He added Sunday in response to Trump's tweets that he doubts the president has "ANY IDEA what McGahn has told Mueller". McGahn, he said, isn't a "John Dean type 'RAT, ' " the president tweeted, in a reference to the White House attorney who turned on President Richard Nixon in the Watergate scandal.
Trump also attacked the Mueller investigation itself, saying that "Mueller and his gang. make Joseph McCarthy look like a baby!"More news: Shots Fired at Gate of US Embassy in Turkey
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According to Trump, the New York Times has been promoting "Fake News" since the day he announced that he was running for president.
On Twitter Monday, Republican strategist Ana Navarro pointed out that while she had no faith in Trump's ability to evolve past his racism and xenophobia, she at least hoped he would learn how to spell "special counsel", since he seems bent on discrediting the findings of Special Counsel Mueller. "Mr. McGahn answered the Special Counsel team's questions fulsomely and honestly", William Burck said, explaining that the President did not ask Mr. McGahn to refrain from discussing any matters.
Now, according to the NY Times, Trump's attorneys have become anxious about what all White House attorney McGahn told the special prosecutor's attorneys. "Witch Hunt!" Trump wrote on Twitter after the release of the report.
McGahn reportedly has told investigators what he knew about the president's role in the firing of former FBI director James Comey, Trump's repeated criticism of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his role in the Russian Federation investigation before the president hired outside counsel to deal with the matter, The Times reported, citing a dozen anonymous sources.
News of McGahn's extensive cooperation with Mueller is likely to complicate the already-strained relationship between the two men.
Giuliani told NBC News that if Trump had considered trying to remove Mueller that would not be criminal. Also, Nixon knew I was meeting with prosecutors, b/c I told him.
"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.
Giuliani said during "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.