US President Donald Trump said Saturday he had authorized White House counsel Don McGahn and other staffers to "fully cooperate" with the investigation into alleged collusion between his campaign and Moscow.
Among the episodes McGahn reportedly discussed with investigators is Trump's firing past year of former FBI Director James Comey and the president's repeated urging of Attorney General Jeff Sessions to claim oversight of the special counsel despite his recusal from Russian Federation probes.
But according to sources close to McGahn, cited in the Times' report, both McGahn and his lawyer, William Burck, were confused by Trump's willingness to allow him to speak so freely to the special counsel. "And his client is not Donald Trump; his client is the office of the president".
Trump said the newspaper made it seem like McGahn had turned on the president - as White House counsel John Dean had in the Watergate investigation of former president Richard Nixon - "when in fact it is just the opposite".More news: 8.2 quake strikes off the coast of Fiji, small tsunami waves observed
Trump's boast about cooperating with the Mueller investigation drew other viral reactions online, including many who pointed out that Trump's team has consistently lied about some key parts of the Russia investigation, including a 2016 meeting at Trump Tower with a Kremlin-connected attorney offering dirt on Hillary Clinton that had been stolen by Russian hackers.
He provided the investigators examining whether Mr. Trump obstructed justice a clear view of the president's most intimate moments with his lawyer.
McGahn has told Mueller's team that he never personally witnessed Trump breaking the law, but the information he has divulged could be potentially damaging. McGahn and his attorney came up with a strategy to cooperate extensively with the Mueller investigation in order to prove that there was no wrongdoing on his part.
It is unclear, the Times notes, whether Trump has fully realized McGahn has taken this approach, which is extremely unusual for a defense attorney.More news: Ronaldo fails to score on Serie A debut
News of McGahn's extensive cooperation with Mueller is likely to complicate the already-strained relationship between the two men. "He appreciates all the hard work he's done, particularly his help and expertise with the judges and the Supreme Court".
The special counsel declined to comment when contacted by Fox News.
Donald Trump has still not said when - or if - he might release his tax returns.More news: Chelsea v Arsenal Preview, Team news, Line-Up and Score Prediction