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 TrumpTrump nominates ambassador to Turkey Trump heads to Mar-a-Lago after signing bill to avert shutdown CNN, MSNBC to air ad turned down by Fox over Nazi imagery 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 TrumpHouse chairman: Trump lawyers may have given false info about Cohen payments Sarah Sanders says she was interviewed by Mueller's office Trump dismisses Ann Coulter after criticism: 'I hardly know her' 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 ClintonOvernight Defense: Trump declares border emergency | .6B in military construction funds to be used for wall | Trump believes Obama would have started war with North Korea | Pentagon delivers aid for Venezuelan migrants Sarah Sanders says she was interviewed by Mueller's office Trump: I believe Obama would have gone to war with North Korea 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."