At the tail end of a Sunday morning tweet storm, President Trump compared Robert Mueller’s probe of Russian meddling in the 2016 election to Sen. Joseph McCarthy’s infamous hunt in the 1950s for Communists in the U.S. government.
Trump called on his followers to study McCarthy, whose smear tactics and often baseless accusations of treason led to his censure in the Senate. The president claimed that Mueller’s investigation into Moscow’s interference in the 2016 U.S. elections has been far more nefarious than anything McCarthy ever did.
It’s interesting that Trump would want to compare Mueller’s probe to McCarthyism. McCarthy’s chief counsel during the red scare of the 1950s was Roy Cohn, a prominent figure in the infamous Army-McCarthy hearings. Cohn later became Trump’s attorney when he was a prominent New York real estate developer in the 1970s and ’80s.
Trump’s allegation that Mueller’s investigation constitutes a modern-day version of McCarthyism capped a torrent of insults he launched on Sunday morning against his actual and perceived political adversaries.
Trump began his diatribe by condemning the New York Times’ report that White House counsel Donald F. McGahn II has been cooperating with Mueller’s team and generously sharing information about key moments to the inquiry that investigators would not have known otherwise.
Trump objected and insisted that McGahn would never “rat” on the president as John Dean had in the 1970s. As counsel to former President Richard Nixon, Dean was involved in the events leading up to the Watergate burglaries and subsequent coverup, but he became a key witness for the prosecution.
Trump upbraided the press for supposedly fixating on the Mueller investigation and said it should focus more energy on the corruption of Democrats.
According to Trump, the New York Times has been promoting “Fake News” since the day he announced that he was running for president. He went on to argue that the situation at the New York Times is only likely to get worse after the hiring of former Verge tech writer Sarah Jeong to its editorial board. A series of anti-white tweets Jeong posted in 2014 have sparked widespread outrage.
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