Citing a dozen current and former White House officials and others briefed on the matter, the newspaper said White House Counsel Donald McGahn had shared information, some of which the investigators would not have known about. Let's try to navigate through this Beltway Hall of Mirrors.
Mueller is investigating whether the president sought to obstruct justice as well as whether his campaign colluded with Russia's covert effort to sway the 2016 presidential election in Trump's favor.
President Trump's lawyers do not know just how much the White House counsel, Donald F. McGahn II, told the special counsel's investigators during months of interviews, a lapse that has contributed to a growing recognition that an early strategy of full cooperation with the inquiry was a potentially damaging mistake.
President Donald Trump insisted Sunday that his White House counsel isn't a "RAT" like the Watergate-era White House attorney who turned on Richard Nixon, and he blasted the ongoing Russian Federation investigation as "McCarthyism".
While Trump maintains that he OK'd the meetings, Dean believes that McGahn's enthusiasm may be "self-preservation".
McGahn cautioned to investigators he never saw Trump go beyond his legal authorities.
It is unclear, the Times notes, whether Trump has fully realized McGahn has taken this approach, which is extremely unusual for a defense attorney.
McGahn absorbed most of Hurricane Donald's force after the president found glowing media coverage - following his well-received speech to a Joint session of Congress - crowded out by the Sessions mini-scandal.
Trump emphasized that he has authorized his aides to cooperate with Mueller. "Rigged Witch Hunt!" he later wrote.
In this February 22, 2018, file photo White House counsel Don McGahn speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), at National Harbor, Md. "This is why the Fake News Media has become the Enemy of the People".
The New York Times said in its report that it was rare for a lawyer to be so open with investigators, but he may have been motivated out of fear of prosecution over White House decisions that might have been construed as obstructing justice. "The president wrongly believed that Mr. McGahn would act as a personal lawyer would for clients and exclusively defend his interests to investigators, according to a person with knowledge of his thinking". "So bad for America!"
"Study the late Joseph McCarthy, because we are now in period with Mueller and his gang that make Joseph McCarthy look like a baby!"
Trump's allegation that Mueller's investigation constituted modern-day McCarthyism capped off a torrent of insults on Sunday morning against his actual and perceived political adversaries.
In the 1950s, McCarthy led a Cold War-era inquisition of alleged Communists who he claimed had infiltrated American governmental institutions.