Trump hits NY Times in flurry of tweets for implying White House counsel is a ‘rat’

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump mocks wind power: 'When the wind doesn't blow, just turn off the television' Pentagon investigator probing whether acting chief boosted former employer Boeing Trump blasts McCain, bemoans not getting 'thank you' for funeral MORE early Sunday attacked the “failing” New York Times for a report that he said implied White House counsel Don McGahn must be a “John Dean type 'RAT.' ”

“The failing @nytimes wrote a Fake piece today implying that because White House Councel Don McGahn was giving hours of testimony to the Special Councel, he must be a John Dean type 'RAT.' But I allowed him and all others to testify - I didn’t have to. I have nothing to hide,” Trump tweeted. "And have demanded transparency so that this Rigged and Disgusting Witch Hunt can come to a close. So many lives have been ruined over nothing - McCarthyism at its WORST! Yet Mueller & his gang of Dems refuse to look at the real crimes on the other side - Media is even worse!"

Trump in a subsequent tweet said the two reporters who wrote the story knew that McGahn had not "turned."

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"The Failing New York Times wrote a story that made it seem like the White House Councel had TURNED on the President, when in fact it is just the opposite - & the two Fake reporters knew this. This is why the Fake News Media has become the Enemy of the People. So bad for America!" he said.

"Some members of the media are very Angry at the Fake Story in the New York Times. They actually called to complain and apologize - a big step forward," he added, without providing details. "From the day I announced, the Times has been Fake News, and with their disgusting new Board Member, it will only get worse!"

Trump said late Saturday that McGahn is cooperating with special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE's investigation on questions about possible obstruction of justice because Trump "allowed" him to.

"I allowed White House Counsel Don McGahn, and all other requested members of the White House Staff, to fully cooperate with the Special Counsel," the president tweeted Saturday evening. "In addition we readily gave over one million pages of documents. Most transparent in history. No Collusion, No Obstruction. Witch Hunt!"

The New York Times reported earlier that McGahn gave over 30 hours of testimony to investigators. The newspaper said that McGahn had grown concerned that Trump was preparing to set him up for a fall over the issue of possible obstruction of justice, prompting him to provide as much information as possible to Mueller's investigation.

McGahn reportedly discussed Trump’s firing of former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyTrump says public can see Mueller report Anderson Cooper blasts Trump over McCain attacks: 'He's punching a person who is dead' Clyburn: Trump and family 'greatest threats to democracy' in lifetime MORE and the president's repeated prompting of Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsRosenstein still working at DOJ despite plans to leave in mid-March Juan Williams: Don't rule out impeaching Trump O'Rourke on impeachment: 2020 vote may be best way to 'resolve' Trump MORE to claim oversight of the special counsel, despite his recusal from Mueller's Russia probes.

John Dean, the White House counsel who feared he would be used as a scapegoat for Watergate and was eventually fired by former President Nixon, said Saturday that he thought McGahn was doing the right thing.

"McGahn is doing right!" Dean tweeted 

The president and his allies have long dismissed the Mueller investigation as a "witch hunt" and called for it to be shut down. The probe has resulted in the indictment of dozens of Russian nationals for U.S. election interference and several former Trump associates for charges unrelated to the 2016 election.

"No Collusion and No Obstruction, except by Crooked Hillary and the Democrats," the president also tweeted on Sunday morning. "All of the resignations and corruption, yet heavily conflicted Bob Mueller refuses to even look in that direction. What about the Brennan, Comey, McCabe, Strzok lies to Congress, or Crooked’s Emails!"

—This report was updated at 8:17 a.m.