White House lawyer Ty Cobb has one of the hardest jobs in Washington: persuading President Trump to continue cooperating with the Russia investigation even as Trump edges closer to going to war with — and potentially firing — special counsel Robert Mueller.
It's a delicate line to walk, especially after the resignation last week of Trump's personal lawyer John Dowd, who was frustrated that Trump wanted to sit down with Mueller despite Dowd's explicit warnings that doing so would be dangerous. There are also persistent rumors that Trump wants to fire Cobb and replace him with someone willing to take a much harder line with Mueller.
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When I spoke to Cobb Wednesday, he told me he expects to stay in his job and insisted that the White House had no plans to fire Mueller. Instead, he said the White House would continue to work with Mueller and his team — and laid out a detailed case for why that's a smarter approach than trying to battle the special counsel.
A transcript of our conversation, lightly edited for length and clarity, follows.