John Dean: Trump 'more dangerous' than Nixon
© Getty Images

Former Nixon administration lawyer John Dean said Sunday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive takeaways from the Democratic debate As Buttigieg rises, Biden is still the target Leading Democrats largely pull punches at debate MORE is "more dangerous" than President Nixon ever was because Nixon better understood the presidency.

In an interview with The Telegraph, Dean said that his former boss was "an authoritarian personality" just like Trump, but that Nixon at least knew what he was doing.


“They're very different in their perception of the president's authority,” Dean said, according to the newspaper. “Trump is more dangerous because he doesn't know what he's doing. The danger is he could do anything."

Dean, who aided in Nixon's Watergate cover-up before cooperating with investigators, raised the possibility of Trump using the Defense Department to protect himself from Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerHouse impeachment hearings: The witch hunt continues Speier says impeachment inquiry shows 'very strong case of bribery' by Trump Gowdy: I '100 percent' still believe public congressional hearings are 'a circus' MORE's special counsel investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

“If Mueller wants him, Trump could just say come and get me I have the Defense Department surrounding the White House. Then you've got a real problem," he added. "There are lots of echoes of Watergate."

Trump mentions Dean by name repeatedly in a quote from Michael Wolff's bestseller book, "Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House," comparing Dean to former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien Comey3 reasons why impeachment fatigue has already set in Day 2 impeachment ratings drop by more than 1 million from first day Chris Wallace on Yovanovitch testimony: 'If you're not moved, you don't have a pulse' MORE, whom Trump fired last year.

“Comey was a rat," Trump said, according to the book. “John Dean. John Dean. Do you know what John Dean did to Nixon?”

Dean said earlier in January that he was pleased to be the target of Trump's criticism, as it meant Watergate was on the president's mind.

“It means that maybe somebody's reminding him that everything he's doing may be worse than Watergate, that maybe he's thinking about it.”