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A Trump lawyer caught gabbing about Russia at lunch racks up career errors

Dana Milbank on

WASHINGTON -- Ty Cobb is really batting a thousand.

The White House lawyer, who shares a name with the baseball legend he claims as a distant relative, has earned fame in his own right this week. He has set Washington atwitter because he had a loud conversation while lunching al fresco outside BLT Steak, a downtown D.C. restaurant, with Trump's personal lawyer -- and within earshot of fellow diner Ken Vogel of the New York Times, which has offices just steps from the restaurant.

Vogel heard Cobb, who is overseeing the White House response to the Russia probe, say, among other things, that one White House lawyer was a "spy" for White House counsel Don McGahn and that McGahn has "a couple documents locked in a safe" related to the Russia inquiry.

Cobb's indiscretion raises a number of questions:

What did Vogel order? (The tuna nicoise.)

Did he try the popovers? (Yes.)

Did Cobb get food caught in his handlebar mustache? (Probably.)

And: What the hell was Cobb thinking?

The original Ty Cobb, who played a century ago, still has the title for highest career batting average. Less well known: He also holds the record for most career errors by an American League outfielder. The latest Cobb seems to have inherited the error gene. This was his third indiscretion in the past two weeks, the second involving a D.C. restaurant.

Two weeks earlier, Cobb got himself in a late-night email tangle with Jeff Jetton, who owns the D.C. ramen shop Toki Underground. Jetton goaded Cobb into an exchange by making obscene references to Cobb performing a particular sex act on Trump. In emails laced with typos, Cobb referred to the probe as "bulls -- Russian bulls -- " and said, against the available evidence, that he is one of the "adults in the room."

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