Former Nixon White House counsel John Dean explains Trump's 'strangulation' of Mueller: 'Killing him slowly'
CNN's Erin Burnett and former White House Counsel John Dean.

Former Richard Nixon White House Counsel John Dean, who pleaded guilty to felony obstruction of justice for his role in the Watergate cover-up, explained on CNN's Out Front with Erin Burnett that President Donald Trump was trying to strangle special counsel Robert Mueller rather than simply fire him.

"I think what we're witnessing, Erin, is the difference between cutting somebody off at the knees, which would be firing, and slowly choking them, which is what we're seeing here," he suggested. "In other words, killing him slowly. Withholding information, badmouthing him, trying to trash him, having surrogates do so."

"I think that's the effort here, They don't want to risk the firing, but they're willing to proceed with this slow strangulation, if you will," he concluded.