“A John Dean type ‘RAT'”?! Nowhere in the Times article did the reporters or any of the sources they interviewed mention the word “rat.” All the article said was that McGahn was cooperating with the special counsel — and with Trump’s permission. And according to sources close to McGahn, the Times wrote, McGahn was hoping to avoid a fate similar to Richard Nixon’s White House counsel at the time of Watergate: John Dean.
So why would Trump reach for such an ominous term to characterize the way (in his view) the Times piece described McGahn’s motivation? Whatever Trump’s reasons, it’s striking how effectively the word “rat” telegraphs the choices available to someone, like McGahn, who cooperates with the special counsel — even with the President’s assent, as he points out.
You are a rat, or you are loyal. Because Trump values loyalty to him above all else — including any responsibilities that civil servants like McGahn may have to the American people or White House.
To me, and countless others, Dean is far from a rat: He is a patriot. And any president should want this behavior from any of his employees.
Trump suggesting the Times is casting Dean as a rat for working with the government doesn’t tell me anything new about Trump. It simply confirms that he acts and sounds like a crime boss, clarifying for all involved the lens he’s using to assess their actions.