"The president wrongly believed that Mr. McGahn would act as a personal lawyer would for clients and exclusively defend his interests to investigators, according to a person with knowledge of his thinking".
Michael Beschloss, a presidential historian, says McGahn's cooperation with the special counsel is reminiscent of John Dean, White House counsel under President Nixon, who was eventually fired by Nixon during the Watergate scandal.
In a series of angry tweets Sunday, Trump insisted Sunday that White House lawyer Don McGahn isn't "a John Dean type 'RAT,"' making reference to the Watergate-era White House attorney who turned on Richard Nixon.
The Times reported that McGahn's decision to cooperate was partly due to the fact that the President's initial legal team had chose to fully cooperate with Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, believing their client had nothing to hide and they could bring a quick end to the probe.
It bears mentioning on a daily basis that no matter what happens, Trump's presidency will make history; the U.S. has never encountered an administration like Trump's, where the chief executive is convinced the government he leads is out to get him. The organizations, sometimes on the recommendation of Trump's inner circle, often award plum jobs to former White House staffers who need work - or need a financial incentive to keep their mouth shut.
Another source close to McGahn disputed any implication that he was doing anything but following the requests of Trump's legal team. Cohn later became Trump's attorney when he was a prominent NY real estate developer in the 1970s and '80s.
President Trump's lawyers do not know just how much the White House counsel, Donald F. McGahn II, told the special counsel's investigators during months of interviews, a lapse that has contributed to a growing recognition that an early strategy of full cooperation with the inquiry was a potentially damaging mistake.
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The newspaper said McGahn was also centrally involved in Trump's attempts to fire the special counsel, Robert Mueller, which investigators might not have discovered without him.
However, McGahn ultimately told investigators that he never saw Trump "go beyond his legal authorities". "So bad for America!"
In tweets over the weekend, Trump emphasized that he granted McGahn permission to talk with Mueller and his investigators.
"Study the late Joseph McCarthy, because we are now in period with Mueller and his gang that make Joseph McCarthy look like a baby!"
On Sunday, he compared Mueller with 1950s-era United States senator Joseph McCarthy, whose anti-Communist crusade eventually led to his censure by the Senate.
"Not the truth", Giuliani told Chuck Todd on NBC's Meet the Press.
"When you tell me that, you know, he should testify because he's going to tell the truth and he shouldn't worry, well that's so silly because it's somebody's version of the truth".