Watergate's John Dean: Potential of Cohen flipping not 'boding well' for Trump
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John Dean, a key figure in the Watergate scandal, said Thursday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpCorsi sues Mueller for alleged leaks and illegal surveillance Comey: Trump 'certainly close' to being unindicted co-conspirator Trump pushes back on reports that Ayers was first pick for chief of staff MORE's former attorney Michael Cohen appears to be looking to strike a deal with prosecutors and that it doesn't "bod[e] well" for Trump.

"I don’t think it is boding well for the president," Dean said on CNN. "It’s clear, as I read the situation, that Michael Cohen is looking for a deal and he is upping the stakes."

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Dean, the former White House counsel under President Nixon, became a key witness in the Watergate scandal after pleading guilty to a single count of obstruction of justice.

His comments on CNN came just after the network reported that Cohen, who is under federal investigation for his business dealings, is willing to tell special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE that Trump knew of and approved a controversial meeting between his eldest son, Donald Trump Jr.Donald (Don) John TrumpDe Niro returns to ‘Saturday Night Live’ as Mueller with warning for Eric Trump Ocasio-Cortez rips into conservative journalist for calling her a bitch Dem lawmaker: Trump Jr. lied to Congress on two occasions MORE, and a Russian attorney in 2016.

That meeting was reported last year by The New York Times. The attorney, Natalia Veselnitskaya, had reportedly offered dirt to the Trump campaign on then-Democratic presidential candidate Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonSantorum: Dems have a chance in 2020 if they pick someone ‘unexpected’ Trump should heed a 1974 warning penned by Bush NRCC breach exposes gaps 2 years after Russia hacks MORE.

Trump, his aides and his attorneys have all denied that the president knew of the meeting before the Times approached him about it last year.

According to the CNN report, Cohen does not have evidence to back up his claim but is willing to speak with Mueller about his assertion.

Dean recalled Thursday that Nixon had sought to discredit his own account during Watergate, until recordings of the president's conversations were released. 

"When I became a witness, there was a huge effort to discredit me," Dean recalled. "And it was just my word against Nixon’s until the tape came out, and they worked mightily to try to discredit me."