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Former White House lawyer: Mueller probe isn't a witch hunt

Posted: 5:33 PM, Oct 22, 2018
Updated: 2018-10-22 22:33:19Z

Former White House lawyer Ty Cobb said Monday that he does not believe the ongoing special counsel probe led by Robert Mueller is a "witch hunt."

The comment puts him at odds with his former boss, President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly called the probe into possible ties between his campaign and Russian interference in the 2016 election a "witch hunt."

Cobb, speaking with CNN's Gloria Borger at the day-long CITIZEN Conference in New York, took a markedly different position.

"I don't think it's a witch hunt," he said.

The comment came during a panel with Jack Quinn, a former White House lawyer under President Bill Clinton.

Later, Cobb lauded Mueller, the former head of the FBI and a Vietnam War veteran.

"Bob Mueller is an American hero in my view," Cobb said, noting his service as a Marine.

"He was a very serious prosecutor," Cobb said. "He and I first met in the mid '80s when we were prosecuting different places and I have respected him throughout."

Cobb left the White House earlier this year after months of working on the administration's response to the Mueller investigation.

"I've done what I came to do in terms of managing the White House response to the special counsel requests," Cobb said. "I'm extremely grateful to the President and Chief Kelly for the opportunity to serve my country."

It was clear on Monday, however, the Cobb's time in the White House was unique, highlighted by the fact that he often had to work with the President on how to publicly respond to Mueller.

Borger asked both lawyers about working with Presidents in crisis and Quinn lauded his former boss.

"I have practiced law for a really long time on Washington, Bill Clinton was the best client I ever had" he said. "Believe it or not, he not only listened to advice, he sought it out and particularly, frankly, when he was in crisis, he wanted input, he wanted other people's thinking, he wanted guidance."

When Borger asked if there was anger, frustration of blow ups, Quinn said no, the vision of Clinton a quick tempered was a "myth."

Cobb, to laughs, responded: "Um, I had a slightly different experience."