Key Watergate figure John Dean: "Trump is Nixon on steroids and stilts"

"Trump is just right out front on it and he's doing it very publicly"

Published March 20, 2018 9:55AM (EDT)

 (Getty/Alex Wong)
(Getty/Alex Wong)

Former President Richard Nixon's White House counsel John Dean believes that President Donald Trump has gone further than Nixon and has a "very public obstruction of justice."

"He [Trump], as I see it, has already exceeded everything that Nixon did," Dean told CNN's Anderson Cooper on Monday night. "He's really much more intimately involved than Nixon ever was in the coverup."

"Nixon was behind closed doors, so everyone was surprised when there were recordings of it," Dean explained. "Trump is just right out front on it and he's doing it very publicly."

The comments follow Trump's outbursts this weekend about Special Counsel Robert Mueller, as well as the firing of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. The ouster of McCabe has only fueled speculation that the president will ultimately fire Mueller in an attempt to put an end to the Russia probe.

Cooper said it was a "stunning statement" and asked if Dean truly believed 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."

The president has repeatedly and confidently stated that he has done nothing wrong and that the investigation is a "witch hunt." Both Trump and his team of lawyers have reassured the public in the past, however, that the president would not fire Mueller.

The White House reiterated that sentiment on Monday but indicated that Trump had grown frustrated.

"There are no conversations or discussions about removing Mueller," White House Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley told reporters on Air Force One Monday, according to pool reports. He added, "There has been no collusion."

Gidley also said Trump has "well established frustration" over the probe and that he "believes this is the biggest witch hunt in history."

By Charlie May

MORE FROM Charlie May