John Dean, the former White House Counsel for President Richard Nixon, on Monday said Donald Trump’s recent attacks on special counsel Robert Mueller constitute “a very public obstruction of justice,” telling CNN’s Anderson Cooper, “Trump is Nixon on steroids.”
Dean was discussing Trump’s weekend Twitter rant, during which the president wrote Mueller’s name for the first time—all while declaring the special counsel’s probe “a witch hunt.”
“I think what we're witnessing is a very public obstruction of justice,” Dean said Monday. “He, as I see it, has already exceeded everything that Nixon did. He's really much more intimately involved than Nixon ever was in a cover-up.”
Dean contrasted Trump’s engagement in the “cover-up” with Nixon’s—who Dean explained was not involved in Watergate until he was informed about it by his chief of staff.
“Trump from the very beginning, he's involved in this,” Dean said. “And so I see a very different profile, and the big difference being Nixon was behind closed doors— everyone was surprised when there were recordings of it. Trump is right out front on it, and he's dealing with it publicly.”
“That's a pretty stunning statement that I want you to have repeat that,” Cooper replied. “You’re saying in your opinion Donald Trump has gone farther than Richard Nixon did to obstruct justice?”
“That's exactly what I'm saying,” Dean replied. “I think Trump is Nixon on steroids and stilts.”