POLITICS
12/31/2017 21:50 EST | Updated 01/01/2018 08:43 EST

Carl Bernstein: Lawyers 'Telling Trump What He Wants To Hear' So He Won't Fire Mueller

"They have an out of control client," says the Watergate journalist.

Donald Trump’s lawyers are trying to keep the “out of control” president calm so he won’t fire special counsel Robert Mueller, Watergate journalist Carl Bernstein said on CNN.

“There are many times [Trump] has expressed, I’m told by people in the White House, the desire to fire Mueller, the desire to pardon people under investigation, including his family,” Bernstein said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union,” citing unnamed sources.

“His lawyers are telling him what he wants to hear — that’s what I’m told by lawyers in the White House ... to keep him from acting precipitously and to go off and fire Mueller in a rage, or fire Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, in a rage. They have an out of control client.”

The “president of the United States, in their view, is out of control a good deal of the time, especially when it comes to this investigation,” Bernstein added.

Trump has said he won’t fire Mueller, but it’s still difficult to predict what he will actually do. “There’s no reason to believe almost anything Donald Trump says because what we know is that the president of the United States and his presidency is characterized above all else by the lying of the president of the United States,” said Bernstein.

Bernstein said Trump’s treatment of the press is similar to Richard Nixon’s during the Watergate scandal — but with an additional step.

“Nixon in Watergate tried to make the conduct of the press the issue instead of the conduct of the president and the men around him,” Bernstein said. “Donald Trump has gone even further; he’s tried to undermine the credibility of the press as a national institution, to the detriment of the country, by these broad attacks on the press.”

Hear the rest of Bernstein’s interview in the clip above.

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