Trump has vowed to make America say "Merry Christmas" again — but a Trump lawyer (and a second) did to a New York Times reporter three months early.
Last week, Trump's personal lawyers Ty Cobb and John Dowd decided to grab lunch at BLT Steak in Washington, D.C. It's located at 1625 I St. NW — directly next to the New York Times office at 1627. Taking advantage of the sunny day, the attorneys grabbed an outdoor table — directly next to Kenneth Vogel, an investigative reporter for the Times.
The lawyers then began to "casually and loudly" discuss aspects of the Trump/Russia investigation, and how much to cooperate with it, wrote Vogel in a Times piece on Sunday. Vogel could hear the pair talking about White House counsel Don McGahn, who has been less forthcoming with documents relevant to the investigation than Cobb would like; presidential son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner; and the Trump Tower meeting with a Russian operative:
"Mr. Cobb was heard talking about a White House lawyer he deemed 'a McGahn spy' and saying Mr. McGahn had 'a couple documents locked in a safe' that he seemed to suggest he wanted access to. He also mentioned a colleague whom he blamed for 'some of these earlier leaks,' and who he said 'tried to push Jared out …'"
"'The White House Counsel’s Office is being very conservative with this stuff,' Mr. Cobb told Mr. Dowd. 'Our view is we’re not hiding anything.' Referring to Mr. McGahn, he added, 'He’s got a couple documents locked in a safe.'
"… Mr. Cobb also discussed the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting — and the White House’s response to it — saying that 'there was no perception that there was an exchange.'"
Vogel was even able to capture a photo and a bit of a play-by-play, which he posted on Twitter:
According to the Times, new White House chief of staff John Kelly "privately erupted at Mr. Cobb" after being contacted by the paper about the lunchtime tete-a-tete(-a-tete).
The White House has not provided any update on Trump's recently declared war on leaks.