In Exchange With Email Prankster, Trump’s Russia Lawyer Speaks Candidly About Collusion Probe

Chuck Ross Investigative Reporter
Font Size:

White House special counsel Ty Cobb believes that President Trump will soon get “a clean bill of health” in the Russia collusion investigation but that former Trump advisers Paul Manafort and Michael Flynn could be in legal jeopardy.

At least that’s what he wrote in emails he believed he was exchanging with White House social media director Dan Scavino.

“I have great confidence there is nothing there implicating the President or the White House. Manafort and Flynn have issues separate and apart from the [White House] that will cause the investigation to linger but am hoping we get a clean bill of health soon,” Cobb wrote in an email on Wednesday.

Cobb’s remarks were likely not intended for public consumption. But they were published on Thursday after a prankster posing as Scavino released the exchanges to Business Insider.

Business Insider’s report focuses on Cobb’s comments about the news outlet’s reporter, Natasha Bertrand. In the emails, the prankster, a Twitter user named @SINON_REBORN, criticized Bertrand, with whom Cobb has recently exchanged a series of combative emails.

In one of the emails with the prankster, Cobb asked the fake Scavino if he had “any drone time left.” The comment appears to have been a reference to using an aerial drone on Bertrand.

But it is Cobb’s candid assessment of the ongoing Russia collusion probe that is perhaps more significant.

Cobb said on the record last month that he believes that Trump will be cleared by Mueller. But he has not gone as far as to offer comment on Manafort and Flynn.

It is not clear whether Cobb’s private remarks match his true thoughts about the state of the investigation, which is being conducted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Cobb did not respond to The Daily Caller’s request for comment. (RELATED: Former Trump Advisers Think Manafort Likely To Be Indicted For Financial Crimes)

Mueller is conducting a broad investigation into Russian meddling in the presidential campaign. That includes a look at any collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian government. But the investigation has widened in recent months to include inquiries into Manafort’s and Flynn’s business dealings.

Both Manafort and Flynn are reportedly being scrutinized over their work for foreign governments and other business activities. Manafort made millions as a consultant for a Ukrainian political party allied with Vladimir Putin. And as a Trump campaign adviser last year, Flynn was paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for his consulting work for a Turkish businessman with links to the Turkish government.

In a comment to Business Insider, Cobb asserted that it is a felony to impersonate a government official. @SINON_REBORN is reportedly a British citizen who has a penchant for hoaxing White House officials and Trump allies.

In July, the Twitter user successfully pranked White House homeland security adviser Tom Bossert by posing as Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner. He also pranked Breitbart News editor-in-chief Alex Marlow last month by posing as Steve Bannon.

Those email exchanges were provided to CNN.

Follow Chuck on Twitter