• John Dean blasted Trump for comparing the FBI's Mar-a-Lago raid to the Watergate scandal.
  • Dean served as White House counsel for Nixon during Watergate and was involved in the cover-up.
  • He is now a political commentator on CNN and often criticizes Trump's actions.

Watergate whistleblower John Dean has slammed former President Donald Trump's comparison of the FBI's search of his Mar-a-Lago resort to Richard Nixon's 1972 scandal.

"It's pathetic. It shows he has no knowledge of what happened with Watergate," Dean told CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Thursday evening.

"Watergate was much more than a break-in of course. There was a cover-up and really it brought forth the evidence of Nixon's abuse of power," he added.

Dean also bashed Trump's lashing out at the FBI and the Department of Justice, comparing it to how Nixon reacted to his downfall because of Watergate.

"Nixon was an institutionalist. He wouldn't attack the FBI or Department of Justice in a blatant and blind way that Trump is. He knew those people," Dean said.

"These are hard-working people who really have the best interests of the country in mind," he continued. "So I think Trump's attacks are so far off-base, as are the Republican party's."

Dean served as White House counsel for Nixon during the Watergate scandal. He was personally involved in the cover-up when he facilitated hush money payments to the burglars who broke into the Democratic National Committee headquarters in June 1972.

He later testified and became the first White House official to tie Nixon directly to the scandal, making him a key whistleblower in the affair. Now a political commentator for CNN, Dean has regularly criticized Trump and the Republican party in recent years.

The former president referenced Watergate in his Monday statement revealing that the search had taken place. "What is the difference between this and Watergate, where operatives broke into the Democrat National Committee?" Trump asked. "Here, in reverse, Democrats broke into the home of the 45th President of the United States."

Several experts who studied Watergate said the two incidents are wholly different, Insider's Lloyd Lee reported. While Watergate involved private citizens hired by Nixon's campaign to commit a crime, the Mar-a-Lago raid was conducted by FBI agents and authorized by a search warrant to investigate a crime, they noted.

While the warrant for Trump's home has been kept under wraps, Attorney General Merrick Garland has asked for the warrant and other records related to the raid to be unsealed.

Dean said on Thursday that it was "foolish" for Trump to make claims about the Mar-a-Lago search in his public statement, as he may now find it difficult to argue that the warrant should be kept sealed for his privacy.

"I think that's a bad position for Trump to be in, to make all these claims and then keep it secret. So he's between a rock and a hard place today," he said.

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