During a House Judiciary Committee held Monday to discuss “lessons learned” from special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), one of Trump’s staunchest supporters in the House, asked White House counsel under President Nixon, John Dean, how Democrats planned to pay for “Medicare for All,” stating, “I figured if we were going to ask you about stuff you don’t know about, we’d start with the big stuff.”
When Dean asked if Gaetz could be more specific with his question, Gaetz suggested getting more specific to Nixon, prompting Dean to quip, “Well Nixon did have a health care plan.”
The room erupted in laughter. Gaetz responded with “Good, Good,” before moving on to a different topic.
What R's ask during Mueller Report hrgs:
GAETZ: How will Dems pay for Medicare for all???@johnwdean: Who? Which candidate? Can you be more specific?
GAETZ Let's get specific to Nixon Since that appears to be why you're here.
DEAN: Nixon did have a healthcare plan.
— Will Ragland (@citizenwillis) June 10, 2019
Gaetz at one point demanded to know how much former White House counsel under President Nixon, John Dean, had made from book sales and from appearing as a regular contributor on CNN, accusing him of making a “cottage industry” out of comparing other presidents to Nixon.
“I seek unanimous consent to enter into the record a December 30, 2005 essay written by Mr. John Dean entitled ‘George W. Bush as the new Richard Nixon both wiretapped illegally and impeachably,’” Gaetz asked the chair.
“Mr. Dean, how many American presidents have you accused of being Richard Nixon?” said Gaetz, as Dean laughed.
“I wrote a book about Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney with the title ‘Worse than Watergate,’” Dean revealed and the audience broke into laughter.
“So, it’s sort of become a — did you make money on that book?” Gaetz asked.
“It was a very successful book,” Dean said.
When Nadler objected to the personal inquiries, Dean countered by noting that Gaetz had not been born when the Nixon scandal played out.
“Wait a second, wait a second, Mr. Dean has made a cottage industry out of accusing presidents of acting like Richard Nixon,” Gaetz said. “I would like to know how much money he makes based on making these accusations and exploiting them for his own economic benefit.”
“Mr. Gaetz, I appreciate you were not born at the time this all happened,” said Dean, to laughs from the audience. “The — it’s not by choice that I have done a lot of this. It’s that I’ve been dragged into it.”
Gaetz ended by suggesting Dean was being used by Democrats as a “prop.”
Nadler gave Dean a chance to respond.
“That was a speech. I don’t believe I can respond to it. It’s not sufficient time,” Dean said, prompting more laughs.
Here's Matt Gaetz's no holds barred match with John Dean. Dean lands a knock out blow right at the end. pic.twitter.com/44l2b8WABT
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) June 10, 2019