Some officials in President Donald Trump's White House believe the president's attorney Ty Cobb when he says that there's nothing to fear from special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of the administration's ties to Russia.
According to The Washington Post, however, others are skeptical of these reassurances and are becoming increasingly anxious and frightened over their chances of legal jeopardy as the probe closes in.
“Of course they are worried,” said a Republican with close ties to the White House. “Anybody that ever had the words ‘Russia’ come out of their lips or in an email, they’re going to get talked to. These things are thorough and deep. It’s going to be a long winter.”
Most White House staff who have spoken to Mueller's investigation say they've come away heartened about the state of the investigation, said Cobb to the Post.
“The people who have been interviewed generally feel they were treated fairly by the special counsel, and adequately prepared to assist them in understanding the relevant material,” the attorney said. “They came back feeling relieved that it was over, but nobody I know of was shaken or scared.”
The president has warmed to this view as well as the hope that some in the White House that the investigation is reaching its end stages.
Others -- like former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon -- are skeptical of Cobb and his reassurances. The Breitbart.com CEO believes that Trump should arm himself with outside counsel with more experience in this type of investigation.
Some are alarmed at Trump's sanguine attitude toward the probe.
“The president says, ‘This is all just an annoyance. I did nothing,’" said one source close to the administration. “He is somewhat arrogant about it. But this investigation is a classic Gambino-style roll-up. You have to anticipate this roll-up will reach everyone in this administration.”
Among some of the anxious aides, "gallows humor" has crept into their interactions.
“When the staff gather in the morning at the White House now," a source told the Post, "they jokingly say: ‘Good morning. Are you wired?'"