Richard Nixon’s former White House counsel John Dean explained why Donald Trump forcing the resignation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions may be worse than the Saturday Night Massacre.
In the “Saturday Night Massacre where Nixon relieved special prosecutor [Archibald] Cox,” Dean told CNN’s Jake Tapper in a phone interview, “that was sort of a culmination of disregard for the president’s direction as to not go after his tapes.”
“Here I think this seems to be planned like a murder,” Nixon’s former right-hand man said with a chuckle.
He noted that during a press conference earlier in the day, Trump “brushed off” questions about special counsel Robert Mueller and told reporters he’ll “deal with it later.”
“He’s clearly been thinking about it and ‘later’ meant he’s not necessarily going to fire Mueller, he’s going to undercut him by the people around him,” Dean said.
Watch below via CNN:
‘Mulvaney lied’: CNN panel breaks down ‘incredibly damning’ White House confession
On Thursday's edition of CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360," a panel discussed how White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney's press briefing was a disaster for President Donald Trump.
"Can I just point out why this matters?" said CNN chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin. "I mean, this is not just some gotcha thing because we all want to get something on the chief of staff. Here we have congressionally appropriated money. Congress says give this money to the Ukrainians. Taxpayer money. And what the White House has done and what they admitted today was, you only get the money if you help us win the election. Not because you help us [with] national security, international relations. The only thing we want from you is help to defeat Democrats. That is wrong. That’s why this matters."
Sondland may have refused to be ‘the fall guy’ — but he’s still complicit: CNN security analyst
On Thursday's edition of CNN's "The Situation Room," CNN security analyst and Lawfare editor Susan Hennessey pointed out that even though EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland turned against President Donald Trump in testimony, it should not be forgotten he was a willing participant in much of the Ukraine scheme.
"In his opening statement today, Sondland wrote he was 'disappointed by the president's direction that we involve Mr. Giuliani in the Ukraine policy,'" said anchor Wolf Blitzer. "In his actions, though, did Ambassador Sondland actually advance Giuliani's goals here?"
"Yes, and to the extent that he was disappointed in what the president asked of him, he took the ball and ran with it," said Hennessey. "He was trying to facilitate Giuliani's efforts, trying to introduce him to Ukrainian officials, and Sondland himself was carrying the same corrupt message, including they needed to be investigating the Bidens for the president's personal political interest. This is Sondland saying, I'm not going to be the fall guy. So I don't know how strong of a message it is that he was saying, I knew it was wrong, but that's the message that he's not willing."
Trump’s lead counsel disavows Mulvaney’s admission the president engaged in Ukraine quid pro quo
On Thursday, White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney stunned reporters by effectively admitting President Donald Trump demanded a quid pro quo from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky for foreign aid appropriated by Congress.
According to CNN's Jim Acosta, Mulvaney's speech was so out of left field that the president's chief attorney immediately disavowed it.
"Mulvaney's performance blindsided the president's outside legal team, as the president's lead attorney, Jay Sekulow, said on the record to CNN, the legal team was not involved in the acting chief of staff's press briefing," said White House correspondent Jim Acosta. "That is pretty telling when the chief counselor to the president is saying, we did not have anything to do with this."