Trump likened the Mueller probe to “McCarthyism.”
President Donald Trump lashed out at The New York Times for a Saturday report indicating that White House Counsel Don McGahn has cooperated “extensively” with Special Counsel Robert Mueller‘s investigation, calling the scoop a “fake story,” and claiming that members of the media have called the president’s office to “complain and apologize.”
The Times reported Saturday that McGahn has provided more than 30 hours of interviews to Mueller’s team, “sharing detailed accounts of the episodes at the heart of” Mueller’s inquiry, which the Times seems to claim has now moved on to whether President Trump obstructed justice.
McGahn reportedly provided Mueller’s team with evidence about Trump’s firing of James Comey, his conversations with Attorney General Jeff Sessions about Comey’s replacement, and internal White House discussions about potentially dismissing Mueller altogether.
But the NYT doesn’t divulge the contents of McGahn’s conversations, just that the lawyer has already participated in more than 30 hours of questioning. Without that necessary context, it’s impossible to know whether McGahn provided any valuable information — or whether that information hurts or helps the White House.
Trump seemed to indicate Sunday that it helped.
The president also took the opportunity to jab at Mueller’s now year-long investigation, which has reportedly turned up little evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian officials looking to sway the results of the 2016 presidential election. In addition to calling the probe a “witch hunt,” Trump now compares the probe to “McCarthyism” — Joseph McCarthy’s series of mid-century hearings designed to root out communists in the government, business, and entertainment industries.
The comparison is a little strange, considering that while McCarthy may have been disgraced for his hearings, eventual investigations did uncover some communist sympathies, particularly in Hollywood.